While fingerprint scanners on our smartphones are convenient rather than inputting a passcode or pattern, it can also sometimes be a bit of a hassle when you can’t reach the space where it’s located. That’s why this new patent that Xiaomi has been able to get would be very much welcome when it finally makes it to consumers. The patent is for an all-screen fingerprint scanner and is finally an innovation for the under-screen fingerprint scanner that we’ve been enjoying for a few years now.
Gizmo China reports that a source from the Chinese national patent database says that they have awarded the patent for a new fingerprint scanning technology to Xiaomi. This new tech will let any part of the screen of future smartphones to become a fingerprint sensor. Currently, there are only specific areas on the screen that function as fingerprint sensors and sometimes users find difficulty in placing their fingers specifically in that area causing multiple tries and sometimes the devices get locked.
Xiaomi shows that they will be using an array of infrared LED light transmitters under the touch-screen layer and above the AMOLED display. The receivers will be above the transmitters and they are the “core building blocks” for making the entire screen of future smartphones a fingerprint scanner. When the user touches the screen with the finger, the capacitive touch screen will register the touch, position, and shape of the fingertip.
The transmitters will then emit light out of the screen at the shape and position of the fingertip and it will be reflected back and reach the infrared light receivers. This data will then map out the contour of the fingertip and compare it to your saved fingerprint details for verification that it is indeed you. We don’t know yet how they will deal with accidental unlocks when you touch the screen but that’s an issue that will most likely have a solution.
Xiaomi isn’t the first one to apply for a patent for an all-screen fingerprinting technology. Back in August 2020, Huawei submitted a similar technology in six markets: China, Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, and India. However it looks like Xiaomi beat them to the punch, if this report is to be believed.