Jörgen Lantto, President and CEO of FPC, comments: "By teaming up with TPK, we can provide a highly compelling offering to the smartphone manufacturers, making it possible to mount the fingerprint sensor under the cover glass."
Traditionally, fingerprint readers required a discrete area just for their use. To integrate them most efficiently, smartphone manufacturers have tended to build them into either the home button on the front (as Apple and Samsung do) or the power button on the back or side (as with Google's Nexus and Sony's Xperia).
And the benefits of this technology isn’t just aesthetic. LG Innotek, the research arm of Korean manufacturer LG, points out that waterproofing a smartphone becomes significantly easier without a discrete button for the fingerprint reader. Plus, the sensor itself is less susceptible to being scratched if it sits under the same tough cover glass as the display.
Leading the list of possible adopters of this technology is Huawei and Google. Currently the two leading manufacturers, Samsung and Apple have their own proprietary designs and are not likely candidates for this new technology. But given the desire to have fully water repellant models, both companies are most likely considering under glass implementations.
The first commercial devices are expected to reach the market in second half of 2016.