As per a report by PhoneArena, Samsung did submit a patent application titled “Foldable electronic device capable of detecting finger-print through at least part of the display” on March 31.
The application went through to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which was eventually published by the organisation.
The application exposed the main problem with foldable display. The flexible screen on a foldable device will show creases when pressure is applied to the display. This makes it harder for fingerprints to be read using an under-display fingerprint scanner on a foldable phone.
In this patent, Samsung has laid out the fix to this issue. The answer is to have the fingerprint sensor placed on the device in such a manner that it will be used to verify the fingerprints of someone using the external cover screen and verify the prints of someone using the tablet-sized display when the foldable phone is fully open.
Samsung may end up using a double-sided fingerprint scanner.
This works when the fingerprint scanner is placed into the lower left of the foldable display. This will allow biometric authentication to take place with the display closed or open. Between the two sensors, a small printed circuit board will be placed to connect the main circuit board.
The original filing was made back 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 with its foldable devices.
While Samsung has the global lead in foldables at the moment, it hopes to continue to bring pricing down to bring these products within reach of more consumers.
Pricing becomes more important as other manufacturers are preparing their own foldables. Firms like Google (with its upcoming Pixel Fold), Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo could put pressure on Samsung.
Many of these companies might have to source their foldable displays from Samsung.