Picture: CNET

There were rumours everywhere of Apple exploring the Under-display fingerprint scanning technology, but it seems that the much awaited tech breakthrough, which was being expected to come from Silicon Valley giants. But no one expected this news to come from China. Yes, the Chinese tech company has created the under display fingerprint scanner.

At MWC Shanghai, VIVO announced its latest ultrasonic fingerprint scanning solution, with the new highlights being its integration underneath OLED displays (up to 1.2mm-thick), as well as working fine even when the device is immersed in the water. As before, this tech can tolerate dirt and sweat on skin better than its capacitive counterpart (duh), and it also works underneath metal and glass but with increased penetration — up to 800um for glass and up to 650um for aluminum, as opposed to the old 400um for either material.

Picture: Business Standard

While it seems to be a cutting edge technology, the Under-Display scanner is just an evolved edition of Qualcomm’s ultrasonic  fingerprint scanner that was employed on Xiomi‘s Mi 5S device. While it required the sensor to sit on the surface of the phone, the current one has the ability to send high- freq ultrasonic signals that can penetrate through the high density glass and metal. This will solve the problem of awkwardly placed scanner panel on the all-glass bezel less display.

Earlier the ultrasonic scanner was affected by ambient light, but VIVO solved this issue by placing it under the OLED display. Since, there are no buttons the smartphones will benefit from it, having better waterproofing and refined uni-body structure.

Picture: engadget.com

The solution seemed to work just fine as they claimed however there are other issues as well. It seems that the recognition speed of the scanner is significantly slow, there is about one second gap between the first touch and the opening of the phone, which is way too slow when compared to other smartphones with near instantaneous unlocking. Also the sensing area is too small.

With this being said, VIVO demonstrators claims that the same scanning technology can be applied across the whole display but it would significantly raise the productions costs. On the other hand, VIVO might eventually provide the recognition to the lower half of the screen, which would still be lot better than what was offered in the first place.