And this very morning, live on stage from from Mobile World Congress 2017, Shanghai, Vivo did just that: officially taking the wraps off what the company's dubbed, ingeniously, "Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution" - a revolutionary new glass-embedded fingerprint reader that's largely based on technology spearheaded by San Diego, California-based chip-maker, Qualcomm. Under display fingerprint sensor is a technology that has been long expected to arrive as smartphone manufactures bring out edge-to-edge displays. (LCDs are a no-go due to their backlights.) The light from the OLED display itself illuminates your fingerprint, which the sensor "sees" and checks against the print stored on the phone. Synaptics late previous year announced that it entered mass manufacturing with its optical in-display fingerprint sensors, called Clear ID.
Alex Feng, Senior VP in Vivo has told in a press release that this new Vivo smartphone is ready for mass production and it will be announced in early 2018. But as the competition became intense, Synaptics started to actively develop in-display fingerprint sensing technology, says TrendForce.
It's really nerdy stuff - all you really need to know is that phones with fingerprint sensors on the front are back again.
A fingerprint icon on the lockscreen shows you where to place your finger. However, the sensor wasn't as responsive as Vivo would have liked.
Registering your fingerprint works the same way it does on a phone with a regular fingerprint sensor.
This is the first time that any manufacturer has demonstrated the technology, even though the feature has been previously speculated to be included in more popular smartphone brands.
Vivo In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology outperforms other authentication solutions available for full-screen smartphones in many aspects. The only way to unlock the phone is to make the screen active and then click the home button icon for the sensor to activate and detect your fingerprint.
That's not to say it worked all the time, though - at first the sensor often didn't recognize my finger.
Apart from being cutting edge-technology, the biggest advantage of in-display scanner is it allows a phone to have an "all-screen" display and no awkwardly positioned sensors behind the phone. It is just a bit slower than what you might be used to from a traditional fingerprint scanner, but not much slower. Or when I'm in bed and Face ID doesn't work inches from my face because it needs to be held farther away.