The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in-screen fingerprint reader will work like this

Samsung needs to make fingerprint scanning faster and these new documents show how it plans to do it

Samsung Note 9 in-screen fingerprint reader

Samsung is working on moving the fingerprint scanner from the back of its handsets to the front, placing it under the screen. By which we mean under the screen: not positioning a sensor in the bezel below but actually embedded in the screen itself, using science. 

This would enable it to keep the bezels as small as possible while freeing up space for a larger battery, which is what everyone craves. Speculation is rife that this innovative technology will debut in the Galaxy Note 9 this summer or in the Galaxy S10 next year.

We previously reported on how the phone would prompt you to swipe your finger across the screen to ensure it could read your fingerprint. Now a new patent application has surfaced which provides deeper details on how the tech will work.

Discovered by 91mobiles, the new patent shows that the in-screen fingerprint reader will be placed, naturally enough, towards the bottom of the display.

The patent also details how the phone will read the user's fingerprint more quickly. Here's how: when the chip senses you have placed your fingertip on the screen, the brightness of that area of the screen will be automatically 'adjusted' in order to speed up recognition of the print. We're not clear on whether this means it will brighten so as to bounce light off your fingertip, or darken so the sensor can 'see' it more easily. Definitely one of the two, though.

The hope is that this will provide an improvement over the fingerprint recognition on the Vivo X20 Plus UD, which also uses an in-screen fingerprint reader. TechRadar noted this was "a bit slower than a normal fingerprint scanner." And we're all busy people. We don't have time to wait around having our fingerprints scanned; got stuff to do.

Samsung will be hoping to at least match the speed of its hardware fingerprint readers and this could be how it gets there. Now we just have to wait to see which Samsung handset this technology comes to first…

Lead image credit: Getty

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of and PetsRadar.