Fingerprint sensors have become pretty much the norm on modern smartphones, but usually they are integrated with a button of some kind. With a view to creating smoother, more minimalist devices, LG has just announced a new fingerprint sensor module that lives underneath the glass. Unless you know what you're looking for, you won't even know it's there.
Developed by LG's subsidiary, LG Innotek, the new fingerprint sensor allows users to simply place their finger on the glass of their phone screen and the sensor beneath will identify the print. The advantage of this, at least in the view of LG, is the potential for waterproof phones and better prevention of scratches.
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As a proof of concept, LG crafted a small 0.01 (0.3 mm) groove on the underside of a glass screen cover to accomodate the fingerprint module. With the sensor hidden away inside, phone designers might need to think creatively about how to reveal its whereabouts. LG says the module has an accuracy of 99.998 percent, meaning that it will only falsely recognize somebody else's prints 0.002 percent of the time.
The company hasn't divulged any information on which, if any, manufacturers will adopt its new tech, or if future LG handsets will feature the discreet fingerprint sensor themselves. Smartphone makers with an interest in doing away with the home button may be quietly taking notice, however.