Fingerprint scanners have become a major player when it comes to flagship smartphones. Whether it’s on the iPhone, the Galaxy S series, an HTC or LG device, or even cheaper Chinese handsets, these sensors have come a long way in the world of security. Now, it looks like we’re about to see the next big player in the fingerprint scanner story as LG’s Innotek has just introduced a new display panel which integrates the scanner right below the glass.
By making a move such as this, better waterproofing of a device is possible since a separate element which is exposed to the outside world isn’t present to receive fingerprint scans. The sensor would protected by whatever strong glass is protecting the front of the device, such as Corning Gorilla Glass, or even the rear of the phone or tablet as some device designs tend to make the back glass.
As far as additional thickness, LG claims that the new panel would only require a mere extra 0.3mm to fit into the body of the device. This is pretty little extra space required, so slim device designs will still be a thing when this panel is implemented.
“The new module is expected to drastically reduce any smartphone malfunctions, as it does not require a specific button for fingerprint recognition,” an LG spokeswoman told the Korea Times. “We are in talks with some handset manufacturers to commercialize the new modules within the year.”
The only concern that’s probably on the minds of many is whether this new technology will slow down the read speed of the fingerprint sensor since it needs to pass information through a pane of glass. This will require real world testing to actually determine, however it shouldn’t be that much slower than a fingerprint-scanning button… in theory, anyway.
So when will these new panels begin to ship with smartphones and tablets? Well, LG says that these parts will be found in devices starting in the second half of 2016. That’s right. The second half of 2016. Didn’t think it was gonna be that soon, eh? Yeah, me either. But nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see who actually implements them first.
For more information, you can read LG’s full press release on the matter below:
For Immediate Release
LG Innotek unveils innovative fingerprint sensor module without button
Seoul, Korea, May 2, 2016 – LG Innotek (CEO Jongseok Park) today announced an under glass fingerprint sensor module. It means you just placed your finger on the cover glass of the phone and then it identifies your fingerprint.
This module gives the freedom of the smartphone design and even enhances the user-friendly function, for example, waterproof or protection from any damage.
Previous ‘button type’ modules required you to press a finger on a raised square or circular button for your fingerprint to be read exactly, so the sensor was usually mounted on the front, rear or side buttons of a smartphone.
LG Innotek cut a shallow furrow of 0.01inches (0.3mm) thick on the lower backside of the cover glass and installed the fingerprint sensor inside of it with using their supreme precision and combination technology.
With this module, the sensor is not exposed to the outside of the device, so manufacturer can produce a sleek designed smartphone. Fingerprint recognition area also can be indicated by various patterns up to design of complete product.
High-strength cover glass protects the sensor and prevents it from coming in direct contact with water or damage from scratches.
At the same time, the new module secured the fingerprint recognition accuracy compared to the button type. The new module has a false acceptance rate (FAR) of 0.002%. The FAR is the probability that the system falsely recognizes someone else’s biometric information as that of the user.
LG Innotek developed a proprietary adhesive to be used to attach the sensor to the glass, securing the commercialization scale of the durability including high impact absorption.
The adherend side of the sensor and glass is only 0.0098inches (0.25mm) thick, but it endures impact of 4.6 oz (130grams) of the steel ball dropped from 7.9inch (20cm).
LG Innotek expects that demand for fingerprint recognition technology will dramatically increase due to the expansion of the mobile payment market, has a plan to secure the new customer.
Market research firm, IHS, reports approximately 499 million fingerprint sensors have been sold globally in 2015 and expects that number will increase to 1600 million units in 2020.
Changhwan Kim, Head of the company’s R&D Center said, “We are concentrating on all our resources to the development of the differentiated technology based on the creation of customer values.” “We will continue to provide convenient, safe, and pleasant user experiences by launching innovative product.”
About LG Innotek Co,.Ltd.
LG Innotek is a cutting-edge materials and components manufacturer and an affiliate of LG group. The company’s business units include core components for mobile, automotive, display, semiconductor, IoT and LED. Further, the company has cooperated closely with mobile device, home appliance and automotive companies, producing camera modules, automotive electronic components, wireless communication module, substrate materials and LED.
LG Innotek is headquartered in Seoul, Korea and its sales subsidiary is located in San Jose, California. For more information, please refer to the website: www.lginnotek.com.