vivo has just showcased its new biometric feature which allows you to unlock your phone without the need of a physical fingerprint sensor. As phones are getting a higher screen to body ratio, vivo is showing that it’s possible to embed the fingerprint sensor underneath the display.
Based on Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor technology, the Under Display Fingerprint feature will generate ultrasonic sound waves that passes through the OLED screen. The sound waves will capture 3D details of your fingerprint ridges and valleys.
Since it uses ultrasonic waves, it is superior to typical capacitive scanners as it works even with wet fingers. It would even work under different materials including plastic, steel, aluminium and even sapphire.
This isn’t the first time Qualcomm’s Sense ID is being used. The Xiaomi Mi 5s is the first commercial smartphone with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor but vivo’s concept takes a step further by implementing it underneath the display.
Since this is just a concept, vivo’s announcement is merely a technology showcase like OPPO’s 5X camera and Super VOOC fast charging. It could appear on a future vivo smartphone but there are no commercial plans at the moment.
Based on current speculations, Apple could probably be the first to commercialise this method of unlocking on their next iPhone. Over at Samsung, they have tried to introduce this technology on the Galaxy S8 and their upcoming Note8. However, it appears that they had to remove the embedded fingerprint sensor and had to settle for a rear-mounted unit. Apparently one of the reasons is that the display had inconsistency issues where the area where the sensor is located appears to be brighter than the rest of the display.