When Apple introduced Face ID in this year’s iPhone X, there was something new. It was the first time a smartphone authenticated its user based on facial features, and enhancing itself based with machine learning. This was the next level of user authentication after Touch ID using fingerprints.
As manufacturers continue to build edge-to-edge displays for smartphones, they’re also faced with an imminent design constraint. As consumers we prefer looking at a world without boundaries. And that’s where device categories such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with its Infinity Display stand out.
However, the placement of the fingerprint scanner is on the rear side of the device, usually coming across as counter-intuitive to some users. Placing the sensor on the front of the device would need realignment of key components with the device, which is largely a very complicated affair.
According to Digital Trends, at CES 2018, Synaptics will demo Clear ID, a new authentication technology. In the past, similar technologies including ultrasonic fingerprint recognition have been demoed at CES. With ultrasonic fingerprint authentication, manufacturers can use the real estate below the device since the technology can function through the display.
Similarly at MWC Shanghai 2017, Vivo demonstrated an under-display fingerprint authentication feature that uses an ultrasonic sensor to create a 3D map of the user’s fingerprint. As smartphones continue to get slimmer and powerful with an increased screen-to-body ratio, security and authentication are gaining ground in priority.
Technologies such as Clear ID and Ultrasonic fingerprint authentication go a long way in maintaining a secure user experience that’s rich, while still increasing screen real estate on the device.