In-display fingerprint sensors, for better or for worse, are going to be the next big thing in Android smartphones. The OnePlus 6T was one of the first “mainstream” devices to offer that functionality, and this week the company is explaining how the functionality gets better over time.
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OnePlus has been working on bringing an in-display fingerprint sensor to its devices for a long time. In previous posts, the company has mentioned that the OnePlus 5T was considered for the technology, but it wasn’t up to par with their standards yet.
Now, with the debut of the OnePlus 6T, the company has finally gotten that fingerprint sensor ready for all users. Further, OnePlus has built its Screen Unlock feature to improve over time. Yale Liu, a software engineer at OnePlus, explains:
Every time a user successfully unlocks the phone with their fingerprint, the sensor also records areas of the finger that weren’t registered in the initial fingerprint setup stage. This fingerprint data is then added to the data the phone already holds, making it more complete. So, every time the in-display fingerprint sensor is used, it gathers more data about the user’s fingerprint. This means that over time, the phone will unlock even faster.
The sensor’s algorithms are also able to figure out when the user’s fingerprint is different than usual – if their finger is wet or if they have a cut on it, etc. In these cases, once the phone is successfully unlocked, the algorithms add this new fingerprint data to the existing data to improve unlock speeds under these conditions in the future.
In short, the software automatically registers new bits of the fingerprint that it originally missed every time you successfully log in to your device. That should help improve accuracy over time, but it probably won’t make much of a difference in terms of speed.
Screen Unlock works from a hardware perspective by shining a light source through the OLED display and matching the fingerprint with the data set secured within the Snapdragon 845 platform. By adding to the data set, accuracy can be further improved.
OnePlus also offers a few tips to improve the reliability of Screen Unlock. That includes registering the fingerprint in a dark, neutral temperature room. The company also recommends that the OnePlus 6T fingerprint sensor should only be used with official or approved screen protectors, using Face Unlock with the sensor, and also ensuring everything is kept clean.
More on OnePlus 6T:
- OnePlus 6T gets an official tempered glass screen protector that works w/ in-display fingerprint
- OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition leaks w/ 10GB RAM, Warp Charge 30 fast charging, Speed Orange finish
- Cam Compare: Pixel 3 XL Night Sight vs OnePlus 6T Nightscape [Video]