Fingerprint Sensor Module

LG Innotek introduces cover glass which is embedded fingerprint sensor module. Image Credit: LG Innotek

Korean electronics giant, LG’s smart devices component maker Innotek on Monday announced an advanced fingerprint sensor module integrated with the lower panel of the cover glass.

This means users can simply place their finger on the cover glass of the display and the glass based module will automatically identify their fingerprint. This will eliminate the need for a dedicated button, pads, or other elements to integrate the fingerprint sensor, as is the practice for most phone manufacturers.

The use of high-strength cover glass will help make the smartphone more water resistant by cutting down the number of openings and also damage resistant to scratches. This module gives the freedom to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to come up with creative designs for the phones. The new revolutionary technology could as well result in slimmer devices in future as they will not need additional space to incorporate separate module for the finger-print sensor.

In the existing button type modules in the market, users are required to press a finger on the circular button or a raised square for the fingerprint to be read accurately, so the sensor is actually mounted on the front, side or rear buttons of a smartphone.

LG Innotek says it has cut a 0.01-inch (0.3mm) thick slot on the lower back of the cover display glass and has embedded a fingerprint sensor in it with utmost perfection and combination technology.

At the same time, the accuracy or false acceptance rate of the new module is (FAR) 0.002%. The FAR figure is the probability that the system will accept someone else’s biometric information as that of the right fingerprint.

LG Innotek built a treatment adhesive to be used to bind the sensor to the glass, procuring the commercialization scale of the durability along with high impact absorption. The adherent side of the glass and sensor is only 0.0098inches (0.25mm) thick, but it can endure drops of 4.6 oz (130grams) of the steel ball from a height of 7.9inch (20cm).

The first phone to feature a fingerprint sensor on a smartphone was the Motorola Atrix, in the year 2011. The first mainstream application of the sensor, however, came with the Apple iPhone 5s in 2013, with the Touch ID being integrated with the home button. The touch sensor integration has since trickled across a range of smartphones as it is now looked upon as mandatory component for devices across almost all prices.

The Korean electronics giant has so far not mentioned if it plans to incorporate the under display sensors in its future devices, only stating that the company is in discussions with smartphone makers to bring the new revolutionary technology within 2016 itself.