With the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, it was thought to equip the device with a fingerprint scanner under the screen. This did not happen and instead, Samsung has integrated its fingerprint scanner into the power button on the side of the device. However, according to LetsGo Digital, Samsung filed a patent application on March 31titled “‘Foldable electronic device capable of detecting a fingerprint through at least part of the screen'”
The application was produced through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and published by the organization just a few days ago. The repo explains what the problem is here; the flexible screen on a foldable device is more likely to crease when pressure is applied to the screen. This makes it more difficult to read fingerprints
using an under-display fingerprint scanner on a foldable phone.
Samsung has created a solution as shown in the patent filing. The answer is to place the fingerprint sensor on the device so that it is used to verify the fingerprints of someone using the outer cover screen and verify the fingerprints of someone using the tablet-sized screen when the foldable phone is fully open. Samsung’s answer is to use a dual-sided fingerprint scanner.
How Samsung’s dual fingerprint scanner will work on a foldable device
It works by placing the fingerprint reader in the lower left corner of the foldable display. This will allow biometric authentication to take place with the screen closed or open. Between the two sensors, a small circuit board is placed which connects to the main circuit board.
The initial filing was made in 2020 in South Korea. By the time the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is released next year, Samsung might be ready to include in-display fingerprint scanners on its foldable devices.
Although Samsung is currently the world leader in foldables, it hopes to continue to lower prices to bring these products within reach of more consumers. And pricing becomes more important as more manufacturers release their own foldables. Companies like Google (whose Pixel Fold may be announced soon), Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo could put pressure on Samsung although, ironically, many of these companies will source their foldable displays from Samsung.