Technology

Samsung’s Patent Hints At The Galaxy S9 Optical Fingerprint Reader

Samsung has been trying to add the in-display fingerprint scanner into its flagship phones for more than a year. The company looks all set to introduce the technology with the upcoming Galaxy S9. The S9 is said to look similar to its predecessor with only a few cosmetic changes. Samsung needs to ensure that the device stands out from the crowd, especially considering it will compete directly against the mighty iPhone X. And the Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader might just do the trick.

Galaxy S9 Optical Fingerprint Reader
Image Source: LetsGoDigital (screenshot)

One of the biggest complaints about the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 is the awkward location of the fingerprint sensor on the back panel. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that Android vendors would not be able to copy the iPhone X’s Face ID technology for about two years due to the complexity of the feature. The Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader would address users’ complaints about the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner while offering a technology that could compete with the iPhone X Face ID in terms of the ease of use.

Folks at LetsGoDigital have spotted a patent application that Samsung submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in April 2017. WIPO granted the patent to Samsung earlier this month. Samsung had originally filed the same patent with the Korean regulators more than a year ago. The patent describes a method to integrate the fingerprint sensor under the display panel.

How the Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader would work

According to the patent documents, the technology involves placing a pressure sensor and a fingerprint sensor in the setup. At the top will, of course, be the cover glass. The fingerprint scanner will be activated at a specific pressure level. There are more than 12 different pressure points spread across the entire display. It will allow users to unlock the device and authenticate payments by placing their finger on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Optical Fingerprint Reader
Image Source: LetsGoDigital (screenshot)

LetsGoDigital says the processor and the memory are electronically connected to the display. The device will be able to store “at least one registered fingerprint.” The processor and the pressure sensor will work together to feel the pressure of a finger on the display before activating the Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader.

The technology will do more than just unlocking your device and authenticating payments. The Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader could grant you access to an instant messenger chat depending on which part of the screen you touch, or it could give you direct access to the phone’s gallery. Without authorization, you’ll only be able to see the non-locked pictures in the gallery.

It’s worth mentioning that the existence of a patent does not guarantee that the said feature would make its way into a final product. But it does show that Samsung is investing a lot of time and resources into the in-display fingerprint scanning technology. It’s only a matter of time before Samsung fans will be able to use the technology.

Egis to supply the fingerprint sensor for Galaxy S9

Korean site ETNews reports that Samsung is in advanced talks with Taiwan-based Egis Technology to make Egis the main supplier of fingerprint sensors for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. For a long time, Egis has been making fingerprint scanners for Samsung’s entry-level and mid-range smartphones. Industry analysts said the deal would significantly boost Egis’ profits.

It is unclear whether Egis will be supplying the Galaxy S9 optical fingerprint reader or the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Some reports claim Samsung would keep the fingerprint sensor on the back of the Galaxy S9, albeit in a more ergonomic location. Egis Technology is planning to improve its operations because Samsung sells tens of millions of Galaxy S handsets every year.

Galaxy S9 to be unveiled in January

According to noted tipster Evan Blass, Samsung would showcase the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. He added that both handsets would be powered by the next-gen Snapdragon 845 processor. But the smaller Galaxy S9 would have only 4GB RAM and a single rear camera compared to 6GB RAM and dual camera on the Galaxy S9 Plus. Both the handsets are said to have a Super AMOLED Infinity display.

The Asian version of the device will feature Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9810 processor. Samsung is also reportedly planning to improve the iris scanner and face detection technology to close the gap with Apple’s Face ID. The new iris scanner would be faster and more secure. The Galaxy S9 is said to have a record 90% screen-to-body ratio, up from 84% on the Galaxy S8.

SammyHub reports that Samsung has developed a new battery that could be fully charged in just 12 minutes. If implemented into the Galaxy S9, it would be a welcome change for users who spend nearly two hours to fully charge their smartphones even with the so-called Fast Charging technology. The new battery technology involves the use of a graphene coating.