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Precise Biometrics and Qualcomm in-display fingerprint scanning deployed in 5G smartphones

Apple patent and Google preview indicate under-display ambitions

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A pair of new smartphone models have been introduced with in-display fingerprint biometrics, while a developer preview and a newly published patent application seem to hint at future plans for flagship smartphones from tech giants to feature the technology.

Precise Biometrics’ technology has been implemented to the Meizu 18 and 18 Pro 5G smartphones for ultrasonic fingerprinting through a partnership with Qualcomm.

The company announced its cooperation with Qualcomm on its new ultrasound sensors, the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, which reads the user’s fingerprint biometrics through an AMOLED screen.

The partnership between Precise Biometrics and Qualcomm to run the sensors on Precise’ BioMatch Mobile was announced just weeks ago.

Android 12 under-screen fingerprint support refers specifically to Google devices

The second Developer Preview of the forthcoming Android 12 suggests a future Google Pixel smartphone will feature an in-display fingerprint biometric sensor, according to XDA Developers.

The revelation comes from an examination of the SystemUIGoogle app, which includes a new class for “UdfpsControllerGoogle.” The publication says “Udfps” refers to an under-display fingerprint scanner.

Speculation about the inclusion of in-display fingerprint biometrics in the Google Pixel 6, which is expected to be introduced later in 2021, was also sparked by the first Android 12 Developer Preview, based on a code string found amongst its settings for multi-biometric enrollment.

Classes related to in-display biometric sensors were also included in the first preview, but XDA Developers suggests they could easily have been a way to add native support for the technology to the open-source version used by other manufacturers. The difference now is that the classes are included in the com.google.android.systemui path, rather than just the generic path, possibly indicating their use on a Pixel device.

The report also notes that as fingerprint swipe gestures are not supported by under-display scanners, Android 12 also replaces the ‘swipe fingerprint for notifications’ gesture with ‘swipe for notifications.’

Angled light subject of Apple’s latest in-display biometrics patent

The latest published patent filing from Apple for in-display fingerprint technology depicts a system for using angled light to improve the contrast and signal-to-noise ratio of an optical biometric sensor.

The application for ‘under-display fingerprint sensing based on off-axis angular light’ was originally filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last August, and describes active red-green-blue (RGB) pixels emitting light to illuminate the finger being printed on the display. The insertion of an optical grating layer which bends the reflected light to create oblique rays, and then another optical layer to “rebend” them straight again to be collimated for the sensor.

The grating layer, Apple says, would be made up of Fresnel prisms, and the filing mentions the angle of the coupling layer would be about 42 degrees.

Analysts have been chiming in with predictions that the next iPhone will have in-display fingerprint biometrics, most recently one from Barclays.

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