Samsung is about to launch the Galaxy Note 9, but we already have plenty of rumors that cover far more exciting upcoming Samsung devices that are supposed to hit stores only next year. That includes the Galaxy S10 and the first foldable smartphone super Samsung.
The Galaxy S10 will to mark the tenth anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy S series, and reports already say it’ll pack a bunch of exciting new features and design changes. The list includes a more impressive screen-to-body ratio, up to three cameras on the back and two on the front, and a feature no other phone has, an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built right into the screen.
In the meantime, a newly published patent application titled Electronic device having a biometric sensor reveals that Samsung has indeed been studying ultrasonic fingerprint sensors for displays. The company only filed the paperwork for the patent on January 22nd, 2018, according to the application that USPTO published a few days ago.
From the drawings alone, it’s clear that Samsung is describing technology that could be used to place a fingerprint sensor somewhere inside the various layers of the display.
Like any patent, the documentation is meant to be as ambiguous as possible so as not to reveal any details that could be tied to existing plans for future devices. Just look at the images Samsung is using above and below to demo the technology. Nobody would put fingerprint sensors in the display of a phone that also has a physical home button.
The patent even hints that the fingerprint sensor might not be placed on the device or under the display. However, because the patent was filed in January, and because Samsung has made phones with fingerprint sensors for about as long as Apple, we can easily assume that Samsung filed the patent explicitly to cover other methods of adding fingerprint sensor tech to mobile phones, including an ultrasonic sensor that would be placed inside the screen.
That said, there’s no guarantee that the Galaxy S10 will have an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in the screen just because Samsung patented technology that would describe such features for future devices. Where there’s smoke there’s fire though, and several independent reports from reliable sources have made this claim. This would be a feature no iPhone has, and a feature that will be exclusive to the Galaxy S10 for a while before other Android device makers adopt it.