Smartphones may soon have fingerprint sensors embedded within screens, thanks to new technological advancements.
A prototype of the first ever phone with a scanner within the display was revealed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Rather than being developed by Apple or Samsung, the world-first was manufactured by Chinese technology company Vivo, which is little known in Western markets.
As reviewed by technology publication 9to5Google, the in-display sensor is a lot slower than those previously seen in smartphones, but is just as accurate.
“In our hands-on demo of the product, the functionality was pretty much flawless,” said 9to5Google.
“Clearly, this technology is still in its early days, but it’s an impressive start nonetheless.
“Hopefully, we’ll see this tech debut on more devices through the year.”
Vivo partnered with hardware developer Synaptics, which has been working on the Clear ID sensor which can scan fingerprints through the pixels of a smartphone’s OLED.
Fingerprint sensors have been growing in popularity since they were first introduced by Toshiba in 2007, although it was a feature that didn’t appear in Apple’s new flagship iPhone X.
They first hit the mainstream with the iPhone 5S in 2013, and the Samsung Galaxy 5S included one soon after.
The scanners in both of these models also functioned as home buttons, with the sensor discreetly integrated at the bottom of the phone under the display.
But as smartphone manufacturers have pushed towards edge-to-edge displays these home buttons have disappeared, meaning there has been no room for the fingerprint scanners.
Apple’s iPhone X does away with the company’s Touch ID feature altogether, although there were rumours of a sub-surface scanner in the screen before launch.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a sensor on the back of the phone near to the camera lens – something which many reviewers have complained leaves the lens covered in smudges.