Leaked images of the Samsung Galaxy S8 show that the unreleased smartphone has almost an all-display front and Samsung’s traditional home button is missing. In previous generations of device, the home button housed the fingerprint sensor, which for the Galaxy S8 has been relocated to the back next to the camera. This has been explained as a last-minute decision because an under-glass fingerprint sensor was not ready.
Samsung’s plans to use a Synaptics under-glass fingerprint sensor had to be changed because the technology had not yet been perfected. The company decided not to delay the Galaxy S8 but instead move the fingerprint sensor to the back of the device. This generated a number of complaints from Samsung fans. These including needing to pick up the device in order to unlock the device using its fingerprint sensor, and also how the rear camera lens might be easily confused for the sensor and easily smudged.
According to an unnamed source, “Samsung poured resources” into Synaptics’ on-screen fingerprint sensor technology. This wouldn’t have been a means of removing the need for a dedicated fingerprint sensor, but instead the user could simply place their finger onto the glass display of the handset. Unfortunately, Synaptics was unable to develop the technology in time for the Galaxy S8 family. It is possible that this feature will be prepared in time for a summer release of the next generation Galaxy Note smartphone. Samsung could be feeling the pressure as there are rumors that Apple is preparing a similar button-less fingerprint sensor technology for the next iPhone, due out later in the year.
According to industry experts, “It is still extremely difficult to develop transparent sensors and components to be used for an all-screen smartphone… If those technologies are fully developed, it would be a big leap forward within the smartphone industry.” It will be interesting to see if Apple is indeed working on such a technology and if it can develop the product before Samsung.
Samsung is expected to give the Galaxy S8 other biometric security sensors including an infrared front-mounted iris scanner and advanced facial recognition to back up the fingerprint sensor. Some rumors point to the iris scanner being too slow for today’s demanding smartphone customer and Samsung may turn to facial recognition, which takes a fraction of a second to recognize the user, but is less secure.
SOURCE [The Investor]