An in-screen fingerprint reader has been something akin to a holy grail for smartphone manufacturers in recent times. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 was rumored to feature a fingerprint reader embedded beneath the display before it launched sporting that poorly positioned scanner next to its rear camera. The same thing happened with the Galaxy Note 8, a few rumors and then just disappointment that Samsung couldn’t even re-position the rear fingerprint reader in a more acceptable location. It would seem that Samsung has gotten all of its ducks in a row this time around having been granted a patent for an in-screen fingerprint reader from the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation).
According to the patent, the display could have up to 12 pressure points, allowing the user to use the whole area for reading fingerprints in order to access apps, contacts, and messages. The fingerprint sensor itself is placed under the display’s glass layer but above the touch sensor.
One of the benefits of having a fingerprint reader built-in under the display is the ability to restrict access to certain aspects of the phone, perhaps limiting which photos can be viewed in the gallery app, or maybe which messages can be displayed. Great if you hand your phone to friends who are a little on the nosy side.
Samsung is rumored to be showing its next flagship, the Galaxy S9, to executives at CES 2018 in January, so we may learn more details after the show has finished, despite it being shown privately and not on a stand. The leaks will happen, despite Samsung’s best efforts. We can probably expect to see the Galaxy S9 announced towards the end of February or the beginning of March.