Commercialization of Display Fingerprint Recognition Sensor to Be Postponed

Aug 01, 2017

It is likely that commercialization of display fingerprint recognition function that distinguishes user’s fingerprint just by having a user touch a screen instead of a separate button will not happen this year. Although Smartphone manufacturers have been competing against each other secretly in order to become the first Smartphone manufacturer to commercialize this technology, it is understood that Apple and Samsung Electronics did not apply this technology to their strategic Smartphones that will be launched during second half of this year due to high technical barrier.
According to industries on the 31st, it is understood that display of Apple’s next iPhone is not combined with fingerprint recognition function. Fact that 5.85-inch flexible OLED that is used for iPhone is not designed to implement fingerprint recognition function is its basis.
It is heard that metal is placed on the back of OLED display that is used for iPhone. Because metal plate for 3D-touch is placed, ultrasonic sensor, which is seen as one of technologies that implements display fingerprint recognition technology, could not be applied.
Also it is heard that because iPhone is designed so that its display takes up the entire front screen of iPhone, it is not designed to have separate fingerprint recognition sensor. Because there is no space to place a sensor itself, fingerprint recognition cannot be implemented through the top of a display.
“Although Apple’s next iPhone supports multi-touch and 3D-touch functions like previous iPhones, it is based on a structure that is difficult to implement fingerprint recognition function.” said a representative for a display industry that is close to Apple’s situations.
Current trend of new Smartphones is to have its entire screen covered with a display. In order to implement so-called ‘full screen’, home button needed to be removed and it was not easy since it also served as a button to perform fingerprint recognition function. This is the reason why display fingerprint recognition technology that can increase size of a screen while implementing fingerprint recognition function was seen as an alternative.
However no Smartphone manufacturer has yet to commercialize this technology. Although Samsung Electronics has also worked to commercialize this technology, it is understood that it will be difficult for Samsung Electronics to commercialize this technology by end of this year. According to the industries, display fingerprint recognition function will not be available for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 (tentative name) that is expected to be launched this September. It is heard that optical fingerprint recognition technology that was reviewed by Samsung Electronics had insufficient performance during actual tests.
“Samsung Electronics already decided that it will be difficult to commercialize this technology during its internal evaluation that took place in last April and stopped development of this technology.” said a representative for a different industry. “Galaxy Note 8’s fingerprint recognition function will be placed on the back of a phone.”
Smartphone with display fingerprint recognition function was once introduced by VIVO in last June when it introduced its Smartphone with Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor. However it is still unknown since its release date is still not clear. Because Apple and Samsung Electronics, which have huge influence on Smartphone markets, could not apply display fingerprint recognition technology to their upcoming Smartphones, they have no choice but to push back their head-to-head battle regarding this technology.
Level of difficulty of display fingerprint recognition technology is evaluated as very high. When a fingerprint recognition sensor is placed on top of a display, it cannot interfere with quality of a display. Also it is very important to secure transparency of a sensor. If a sensor is placed on the back of a display panel, there is a chance that fingerprint recognition rate might get lowered. It is also difficult to repair a fingerprint recognition sensor whenever there is a malfunction. This is why actual application of this sensor is seen as another problem even when this technology is commercialized.
Staff Reporter Yun, Keonil | benyun@etnews.com

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