Bezel-less smartphones with fingerprint scanning touchscreens out before summer

iPhone 5S hands on fingerprint scanning

Fingerprint scanning technology was a major trend at Mobile World Congress this year, and according to the CEO of CrucialTec, one of main firms producing biometric readers for mobiles, it won’t be long before the scanners make the jump from buttons to the screen itself. Speaking to the Korea Herald, CEO Charles Ahn revealed CrucialTec was on the brink of revealing a touchscreen panel with the fingerprint scanner built-in.

At the moment, we must swipe or press our fingertips against a dedicated button – the Home button on the iPhone, or the rear touch panel on the HTC One Max for example – but this would render such features unnecessary. Ahn said only two companies had the ability to produce such panels, called a Matrix-Switching Touchscreen Panel or MS-TSP, and confidently stated CrucialTec was more than a year ahead of its competition.

Amazingly, he says we should expect to see phones with a touchscreen fingerprint scanner released before July this year. If so, this would make the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5S look a little old. Future versions of the MS-TSP could also contain health monitoring sensors, combining another separate feature from the Galaxy S5 into one component.

However, while a touchscreen with an embedded fingerprint scanner will be cool, its introduction could bring an even cooler feature with it. Apparently, these Matrix-Switching panels will “usher in an era of bezel-free phones,” according to Ahn. He says this is due to the MS-TSP only using a single screen layer, rather than the four on most panels today. We’re already seeing phones with tiny bezels, such as the LG G2, so this could be the jolt needed to minimize them almost entirely.

CrucialTec is an interesting company, and we took a close look at its biometric scanning tech at Mobile World Congress in 2013. Ahn’s predictions are exciting, but the timeframe seems almost too good to be true. We’ll find out if it is within the next six months.


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