Just about all of our smartphones have fingerprint sensors and integrated in different ways. LG started the rear-facing fingerprint scanning trend while others have opted to integrate the sensor into our home buttons on the front of the device. There’s one thing about all of these scanners that is the same across the board: they are separate pieces of hardware.
Earlier this year, there were rumors that LG was working on a new technology that would essentially place the fingerprint sensor below the front glass. This technology would help save room and allow for the potential of bigger batteries or slimmer designs.
Even before that, Qualcomm introduced a similar technology called “Sense ID” that places sensors below the glass, allowing manufacturers to remove the home button or a separate fingerprint sensor. This new technology has only been used in LeEco’s Le Max Pro so far, but Xiaomi may be looking to include Sense ID on the rumored Xiaomi Mi 5s.
An image from Weibo shows a presentation slide describing where the sensor will be placed on the device, and how it will work. The Mi 5S is shaping up to be quite the powerhouse device as it is expected to feature 256GB of storage, a 3,490mAh battery, 16MP camera, and will be powered by the Snapdragon 821 and 6GB of RAM.
We’ll wait and see if the Mi 5S actually includes this technology, but hopefully this device release can kickstart the use of this technology. It would be awesome to touch a specific place on your display to unlock your device, and not have to worry about a fingerprint sensor that doesn’t do anything but take up space. Maybe, just maybe, this will decrease the size of the chins that we see on devices and bring us larger displays in the same form factor that we have become accustomed to.