On Wednesday Patently Apple posted a report titled “In-Display Biometric Sensor Companies line-up for Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Business and Apple could be next.” The same ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor suppliers for Samsung’s next smartphones are also trying to gain Apple’s business for some of their non-iPad Pro business for these sensors.
I had noted in the report that the use of this technology in some of Apple’s iPads would be interesting as it could also spill over to the Apple Watch which has yet to adopt biometric authentication.
In a Samsung patent published yesterday we see that the company has delved into in-display technology that could be used in future smartphones and a possible future Galaxy Watch as seen in their patent figure 11 below.
In October C/NET posted a report titled “Samsung may add in-screen camera and fingerprint sensor to future phones.” The report noted that Samsung could be working to step up its mobile displays with features like an in-screen fingerprint sensor and camera.”
The news tip came from someone who had attended Samsung’s 2018 OLED forum. The tipster noted that a future Samsung phone would “include an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a speaker built into the screen, vibrations that come from the screen and an under-panel sensor. That last feature would let Samsung put a front-facing camera or iris scanner under the display.”
What C/NET reported on seems to mirror what Samsung has in one of their latest patents published this week on a smartphone with under-display fingerprint biometrics.
In Samsung’s patent FIG. 2 presented below we’re able to see is a Galaxy smartphone that could represent future Galaxy “S” or “Note” models. Specifically, the patent notes that the smartphone may include various non-illustrated hardware modules. An electronic pen sensor, such as a digitizer, capable of receiving an input from an electronic pen (#202 e.g., a stylus pen) and a fingerprint sensor capable of detecting a fingerprint of a user may be disposed on a rear surface of the touch screen display (#210). The electronic pen sensor may be included in the touch screen display.
The smartphone may detect a touch having a specified pressure (also referred to herein as a “force touch”) through a specified area (#211) of the touch screen display or any part of the display. Samsung’s patent FIGs 5 and 5B illustrate the Force Touch described in the patent filing.
The smartphone may detect a fingerprint of the user through a fingerprint recognition area (#212) of the touch screen display. The fingerprint recognition area may also be located at the specified area of #211 of the touch screen display.
In Samsung’s patent point #71 they specifically stated that “The display device may include a display panel, a touch sensor, and/or an electronic pen sensor. The display panel may include an LCD panel, an LED display panel, an OLED display panel, a MEMS display panel, or an electronic paper display panel. The touch sensor may include a capacitive touch panel, a pressure-sensitive touch panel, a resistive touch panel, an infrared touch panel, or an ultrasonic touch panel.
The touch panel may be inserted into the display panel (e.g., an add-on touch panel), may be directly formed on the display panel (e.g., an on-cell touch panel), or may be included in the display panel (e.g., an in-cell touch panel). The electronic pen sensor (e.g., a digitizer) may detect a touch input, a gesture input, or a hovering input from an electronic pen.
Samsung filed for this patent in the U.S. in Q2 2018. They filed for it in South Korea in Q2 2017. Other Samsung patents on Fingerprint Scanning under the Display that surfaced in 2018 include the following:
01: Samsung’s Ultrasonic based Fingerprint Scanner for under a Smartphone Display was confirmed in a Patent this week
02: Major Samsung Patent reveals an all-new Single and Multi-Sensor In-Display Fingerprint System
03: This week Samsung was granted a Patent for an Under-Display Fingerprint Scanner