We usually have two types of under-display fingerprint scanners, one of them is optical and the other is ultrasonic. Optical ones reflect light off your finger and then lets you in but the drawbacks are that it is slower than capacitive ones and is also slower than side-mounted scanners. They are less secure and can be tricked with high-resolution photos of fingerprints.
Wet and oily fingers also do not get scanned properly as well and sometimes you may require multiple attempts to get into your phone. That said, newer optical scanners are kind of quick and not unusable but still way behind ultrasonic ones.
They use sound waves to make a 3D map of your fingerprint. Since it can capture your fingerprint much more accurately, it is way faster than an optical scanner and can also work well if your hands are wet or oily. Optical scanners were one of the main drawbacks of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and also the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
Still, one problem remains with both these scanners. They only work at a particular area of the screen, usually at the middle of the bottom part where your finger usually rests. Face ID is much more convenient this way, you don’t have to touch a particular part of the screen to unlock your phone. Wear a mask and that’s a different story but yes, this new technology patented by Xiaomi can easily solve this issue.
According to this patent, you can now touch any area of the screen to unlock your phone. It works through LED transmitters. Huawei has previously filed a similar patent but we did not see any updates about that. If this works out well, you can say goodbye to problems like touching the wrong area of the screen or being off by half a centimetre and the phone not being able to scan your entire finger.
New fullscreen under-display fingerprint: How it works
Infrared LEDs are paired with a transmitter and a receiver. Between the capacitive touchscreen layer and the OLED display, these Infrared LEDs will function. It adds an extra layer to the screen.
The LED transmitters detect fingerprints via the capacitive touchscreen and the infrared ones capture fingerprint data. Is this better than the existing technology? Time will tell, we need to see how fast and effective this is. Fingerprint data captured by receivers is then analysed by the software and if it is a match, the phone is unlocked.
When will we see this on a Xiaomi smartphone? Unclear but there is a good chance we might even see it in 2022. There are no working prototypes that we officially have seen from Xiaomi and there have been no teasers either but we can assume there working demo units that are being tested by Xiaomi.
There have been some concerns that this might make the phone too thick or that adding an extra layer underneath the screen will make it less durable or that the fullscreen fingerprint scanning technology might not be as secure, fast and accurate when compared to the current-gen ultrasonic fingerprint scanners. All valid concerns, but we don’t think this will raise the costs too much.
That is all we have for now. What do you think of this new fingerprint scanning technology? Is there a chance we might see it on the upcoming Mix phones because that is where they try a lot of their experimental features before bringing them to mainstream phones? Do drop a comment down below.
Thank you for reading.