Samsung would have been the first smartphone maker to use a fingerprint on display (FoD) sensor but the technology and the company just wasn’t ready to make the jump. But while it may be trying to catch up with Chinese rivals, at least based on leaks and speculation, it might also try to outdo them to the point of going overboard. A new patent filed by the company last year reveals the places it could use such sensors including, surprise surprise, on a smartwatch.
Smartwatches are designed to make it easier to take certain actions without having to whip out your smartphone, like reading messages, hailing an Uber ride, replying to messages, playing games, paying for coffee, and more. What they couldn’t easily do, however, is authorize payments without you having to key in PIN codes on such a tiny screen. Fortunately, technology has reached a point where it’s possible to scan your fingerprint on the screen and maybe even more.
Samsung filed a patent in Korea late last year and in the US early this year related to the use of several in-display fingerprint sensors on different devices, ranging from the usual optical ones to ultrasonic sensors expected to be in next year’s flagships. As interesting as their smartphone applications may be, the idea of having such a sensor in a smartwatch is probably more novel at this point.
But wait, there’s more! Samsung might be putting more than just a fingerprint scanner in a smartwatch. It could also add an in-screen speaker, which does already exist in some form, and an iris scanner. Whether this could help make smartwatches thinner is still debatable but they will surely make them more expensive.
But like with any patent, this may never come to pass. At least not immediately. While most of the technologies do already exist separately, putting them together as a whole is a different question entirely.