New All-Glass iPhone tech

Where we’re going, we don’t need buttons or circles, just glass. Endless levels of glass.

That is the promise of future smartphone era according to Synaptics, a organization that builds they physical user interfaces for many gear for example fingerprint scanners, touchscreens and trackpads. (Synaptics was the organization responsible for the iPod’s legendarily usable scroll wheel.)

On Tuesday, Synaptics announced what it’s identifying the first-ever optical-based fingerprint sensor for smartphones. The new FS9100 sensor is produced to detect fingerprints through up to 1mm of glass. That means future phones will be able to dispense with the need for a stand-alone fingerprint sensor; instead the sensor will be built right into the display.

That could, in turn, mean the end of home buttons.

“Synaptics is permitting the elimination of the h

ome button.”
“By bringing optical sensing era with the right form factor and power consumption envelope to smartphones and tablets, Synaptics is permitting the elimination of the home button which is a crucial next step to full top-to-bottom, edge-to-edge smartphone and tablet displays,

” said IDC Research Director Les Santiago in a press release.

The implication here is that future smartphones may finally be that slab of glass we have been dreaming about. The Xiaomi Mi Mix and Sharp Aquos Crystal phones have given us a contact of phones that are nothing but screen, but they still have a thick bezel along the bottom. Synaptics’ new sensor tech could finally give us a phone with a true edge-to-edge display.

This era could even end up in the iPhone 8, which has been rumored to be an OLED-screen-sporting, edge-to-edge, glass-covered smartphone.

Synaptics statements its FS9100 sensor is the 2 extremely thin and low power — two barriers that previous prevented optical sensors from being practical for mobile gear where size and battery consumption are crucial considerations.

There are other concerns about optical sensors, like the

so-called “gummi bear hack” in which a soft, gummy material is used to pick up a fingerprint and then utilized over the optical sensor. A Synaptics spokesperson explained to Mashable that the organization will combat unlicensed fingerprints with its SentryPoint Security Suite, which includes their Quantum Matcher PurePrint era which uses synthetic cleverness to ferret out unlicensed prints, essentially looking for “liveness.”

The FS9100 chips will go into mass manufacturing sometime in Q2 of 2017, which would be in time for mass-manufacturing of the iPhone 8. Nevertheless Apple may choose to bypass Synaptic’s optical era.

Apple typically doesn’t discussion about its suppliers but they haven’t used Synaptics continuously since the early days of the iPod. In addition, its Touch ID era already really works through a layer of clear material — sapphire.

More importantly, the organization a few days ago patented fingerprint-sensing era that enables fingerprint checking though any part of an iPhone or iPad screen, information it may have already figured out this tech by other means, and it might not need or be amused in Synaptics’ solution. Nicely there’s always Samsung.