It has long since ceased to be a secret that Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers are working on a fingerprint scanner in the display. Vivo was the first manufacturer at the beginning of this year to introduce a smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor. Huawei joined here this week with the introduction of the Mate RS. Will Samsung also have this technology ready in time for its Note 9?
Samsung would already try several variants but is still not 100% satisfied with its new fingerprint scanner on display. First, we assumed that the Galaxy S9 would be equipped with such an innovative sensor; now all eyes are focused on the Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung patent in-display fingerprint sensor
WIPO has just published a patent entitled ‘apparatus and method for receiving fingerprint information through guide’. The patent was applied for by Samsung Electronics on 11 August 2017 and was published today, 29 March 2018.
The problem is also described in the patent. There is simply little space in a smartphone for a large fingerprint sensor, and they are also costly. Therefore, a sensor that is smaller than a finger must be installed and can still register an entire finger. Moreover, the area in which the finger can be detected must not be too small; this would harm the user-friendliness.
Since the fingerprint sensor is smaller than the size of a finger, a method must be devised for recognizing different parts of the finger. That’s why Samsung wants to use a so-called ‘guide’, or a graphical indicator.
As soon as the finger is placed on the display, a part of the finger is registered. The guide is then shown on display. Depending on where the user has placed his / her finger on the display, the second half of the finger is registered, which partly overlaps with the first registration.
By adding this graphical indicator, the fingerprint scanner is better able to recognize a fingerprint. If the verification did not go very well, an extra guide could ensure that the additional necessary information is obtained.
Although we also see a home button on the images, the patent clearly states that it does not have to be present. Incidentally, the recorded technology is not only applicable to smartphones. Other electronic devices, such as a tablet, eReader, wearable or game computers, can also use this technique in the future. In addition, Samsung has recorded that the in-display fingerprint scanner can be used for household appliances such as televisions or refrigerators.
Samsung filed a patent with WIPO for an ‘apparatus and method for receiving fingerprint information through guide.’ The patent describes the use of an in-display fingerprint sensor.
An in-display fingerprint sensor takes a lot of space, therefore, a small sensor needs to be used. However, as the size of the fingerprint sensor is less than the size of a finger, Samsung developed a method for recognizing different regions of the finger.
As a finger touches the display, a part of the finger will be registered. A guide (a graphic indicator) will then be shown on display. Next, where the user has placed his / her finger on the display, the second half of the finger will be registered, which needs to partly overlap the first registration.
By integrating a guide, the fingerprint recognition rate may increase. In addition, in the case where the fingerprint information is insufficient, a fingerprint may be obtained by displaying a new guide and additional fingerprint information.
The patented technology may be used for future Galaxy smartphones, other consumer electronic devices, and home appliances.