Synaptics failed Samsung in getting an on-screen fingerprint sensor for the Galaxy S8

Every failure — the commonly shared and for the personally aggrieved — has a story behind it. The Google Pixel couldn’t get waterproofing down partly because of its stunted design cycle. The Galaxy Note 7 had a mix of shoddy handiwork and design issues.

For Samsung’s Galaxy S8, though, it’s the fingerprint sensor’s rear location that will be a gripe for many, most likely because users will frequently smudge the camera lens next to the sensor by mistake. Nothing a little reflex training can’t solve, right? Maybe not for some. But according to a source to the The Korea Herald, there’s a reason why the fingerprint reader is where it is: it was never supposed to be there in the first place.

Synaptics, a big player in finger-oriented technology, was commissioned to work on fingerprint sensing through the display of the Galaxy S8 — a technology that’s supposedly being worked on for Apple’s iPhone 8. Unfortunately for us, despite heavy investment from Samsung, Synaptics could not produce a satisfactory product before the assembly lines had to start up.

“With the production imminent, the company had to decide to relocate the fingerprint scanning home button to the back of the device at the last minute,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

With the new Infinity Display being a core focus of the device, the fingerprint sensor took a literal backseat. Facial recognition and iris scanning technologies were included with the S8 and S8+ to bolster security options.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.