While fingerprint sensors have become more common on phones, they’re still largely limited to a single spot on your screen or a specific sensor location. Xiaomi hopes to change that by patenting full-screen fingerprint technology.
Gizmochina, via a leak in the Chinese tech arena, revealed that Xiaomi has been granted a patent that will allow phone users to unlock by placing their finger on any part of the screen. Typically, in-screen fingerprint recognition software forces users to unlock their phone through the sensor under their screen. Since users must place their fingers directly over the sensor to receive a positive response, it may not be recognized and may require multiple attempts.
Xiaomi’s latest technology allows users to seamlessly unlock phones from anywhere on the screen. Besides convenience, it can also be useful in an emergency, making everything a bit faster. There are two arrays consisting of light emitters and light receivers, and the light receiving hardware is placed above the infrared LED light emitters.
When a user places their finger on the capacitive touch screen, the touch, shape and position of the fingerprint are captured, after which light emitters emit light at the shape and position. After that, the infrared light is reflected and reaches the infra-LED light receivers. This data is then used to compare the fingerprint outline to the registered fingerprint data, verifying that the user is the same.
Xiaomi has not yet officially confirmed whether this technology will arrive on any device. It’s just a patent, so the whole production and implementation cycle could easily take a year or more.