Xiaomi working on an all-screen fingerprint sensor: time to push biometrics up a notch!

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From security pin to dace IDs, smartphone security has come a long way. Biometric authentication, to be specific, has improved a lot. Initially, it began with capacitive fingerprint sensors. Then it moved on to ultrasonic sensors. And finally, we’re now seeing in-display fingerprint sensors in most smartphones. However, this obviously was not going to be the stopping point for smartphone manufacturers. Thus, we are seeing companies making improvements in biometric authentications. In relation to the same, multiple rumors have surfaced suggesting Xiaomi pushing for an all-screen fingerprint sensor.

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Xiaomi’s All-screen fingerprint sensor

Thanks to the famed leakster Mukul Sharma (@stufflistings), we’ve come to know about this all-screen fingerprint sensor from Xiaomi. By all means, this is not a new technology at all. Rather, we had already seen it in Vivo Apex 2019 concept phone. The concept smartphone had no charging ports, was made entirely of glass, and had an all-screen fingerprint sensor. However, it utilized an optical fingerprint reader rather than an ultrasonic one.

xiaomi all-screen fingerprint sensor leaked image

This technology will be exactly like it sounds. That is, your entire screen will act as a fingerprint sensor. Thus, you’ll be able to unlock your device from any part of the screen by presenting a registered fingerprint. However, currently, we do not know what type of technology Xiaomi has used to implement this all-screen fingerprint sensor. Moreover, we do not even know whether such a feature will be available in any upcoming smartphones either. That’s because there are a large number of factors that come into play when it comes to the all-screen fingerprint sensor.

How does in-display fingerprint sensor work?

In general, current smartphones have either optical or ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors. The optical ones capture a 2D image of your fingerprint using the reflected lights from your phone’s display. Then it will compare the captured data with the one that’s stored in the database in order to find a match.

Now, as far as the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors are concerned, they use ultrasonic waves to map a 3D image of your fingerprint. Then when you place your finger to unlock the device, ultrasonic waves are projected from the phone’s surface to take in the input.

In theory, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors are better than optical ones. That’s primarily because it captures a 3D image of the fingerprint. However, at the end of the day, the security of the device is as good as the device itself. Thus, it would really be interesting to see what Xiaomi has planned with its all-screen fingerprint sensor.