Synaptics Incorporated, the self-described “leading developer of human interface solutions”, made a somewhat misleading announcement on Tuesday, when it appeared to preface the early 2018 launch of a Samsung Galaxy S9 duo with in-display fingerprint recognition technology.

Samsung’s name was never explicitly mentioned, but Synaptics hinted at a “top five OEM” adopting its new optical Clear ID FS9500 fingerprint sensor for a “Tier 1 customer phone” set to be showcased at CES 2018 in January with a bezel-free OLED “infinity display.”

Alas, a very trustworthy source of factory CAD-based renders of unreleased devices just produced a bunch of images starring the Galaxy S9 and S9+ with rear-mounted fingerprint scanners, and as it turns out, that “top five OEM” is Vivo after all.

Headquartered in China, owned by the same parent company as OPPO and OnePlus, and focused primarily on Asian markets, Vivo was the world’s fifth largest smartphone vendor last year, falling to sixth place during Q2 and Q3 2017.

Clearly, the ambitious OEM is looking to make as many international headlines as possible with a breakthrough attempted by Samsung for quite some time now. But Qualcomm’s ultrasonic under-display solution may have failed to impress with its speed and accuracy.

Enter this one-of-a-kind optical Clear ID sensor, which Vivo has already integrated into a pre-production phone described as surprisingly fast by early testers. This unnamed handset is what we’re likely to see demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show soon, ahead of mass manufacturing and a commercial release hopefully slated for Q1 2018.

The “invisible” fingerprint reader works exactly as you imagine, and it’s billed as more convenient, secure and speedy than Apple’s Face ID biometric solution. There’s no need for a “notch” or bezel to hold the incredibly thin CMOS image sensor, which is embedded into the actual “infinity display”, and protected by glass against damage of any sort. It truly sounds like the future of smartphone authentication, and it’s right around the corner.

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