Look out: LG could have the first phone with an invisible fingerprint sensor. The company’s Innotek arm today announced a new innovation for implementing fingerprint scanners. It allows them to place a sensor beneath a sheet of glass by finely shedding about 0.3mm of glass from beneath the surface to make room for the module.
The sensor can read your fingerprint just as well as an exposed button would, with LG claiming a failure rate of just 0.02%. Having a fingerprint sensor that can work beneath glass allows manufacturers to create a more seamless smartphone design. You can have a fingerprint scanner on the front without having to stick an ugly home button there. The manufacturer could use an elegant icon on the front to show a user where to put their finger for a reading.
If this tech sounds familiar, it’s because Qualcomm introduced new technology that can enable the same results. Their technology is called Sense ID, and it uses ultrasonic waves instead of a surface-based reader for authentication.
Sense ID has the added benefit of being more secure by being able to judge the depth of a finger’s ridges, something that should make a fingerprint much harder to spoof. It’s also much more reliable at reading your finger when dirt or liquid is on it.
Unfortunately we have yet to see Qualcomm’s tech land in many phones, with LeEco’s Le Max Pro being the only known phone to date. Is it due to immaturity or cost efficiency? We can’t say for certain, but we’re glad to see other companies trying their own solutions to help eliminate the need for extra buttons on a smartphone.
Whether this will show up in the LG V10’s successor remains to be seen, but knowing LG they’ll want to use as much of the innovation coming out of their own company as possible in future flagships.