Vivo Will Be The First Smartphone to Use Clear ID

Todd Singleton
December 18, 2017

Earlier this week, Synaptics unveiled the world's first fingerprint scanner that can be embedded in a smartphone's display. Though Synaptics did not reveal the name of the company which will first bring the feature on its smartphones, it hinted that the OEM is among the top five globally. The company also allayed the doubts on the mass availability of its sensors, which was cited as an issue for it not becoming very popular so far. It now transpires that it is Vivo, which is working with Synaptics on the project and the idea is to release all its new phones in 2018 with this fingerprint sensor technology and chucking the rear mounted one.

Vivo will use the Synapctics Clear ID in-display fingerprint scanner.

There's an arms race between Apple, Samsung, and other phone makers to move away from physical fingerprint scanners to unlock your phone, to ones that can sit under the screen.

Apple recently abandoned its fingerprint scanner in favour of Face ID, partly because the new iPhone X has no space for a home button. When you need it, you should see a fingerprint icon on the lower end of the screen, just about the same place it appears on phones with bezels. Well, we don't have to wait for next month's CES to find out who that top 5 OEM is, as we now know it is Vivo that will showcase the under-display technology, with Forbes going hands-on with a pre-production unit with Clear ID onboard.

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And it sounds like the scanner might work well.

"The Clear ID experience was fast and simple", McDonald said in an opinion piece. "Synaptics' Clear ID fingerprint sensors are faster, more convenient, and more secure than alternative biometrics, and this optical technology represents a major innovation shift and opportunity for the smartphone market". Apple, in particular, was highly rumoured to implement the technology for its anniversary special iPhone X but the company went ahead with FaceID, which uses 3D facial mapping for biometric authentication.

As to the technology behind the in-display fingerprint scanner itself, carrying the model name Clear ID FS9500, it is created to work with phones with an 18:9 and 20:9 orientation.

2018 certainly looks to be the year of the hidden fingerprint scanner, and I can't help but wonder how Face ID will be viewed once Clear ID is established.

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