OnePlus has a philosophy of not spending too much money on marketing their products. There are some markets where it’s difficult to compete unless you spend a bit of money, but they get a much better ROI from the enthusiast community by tossing out a few tidbits here and there. This is normally done as a lead up to the launch of their next smartphone where they talk about new features or changes their customers should expect. This trend looks to be continuing with the OnePlus 6T as they explain why they believe in-display fingerprint scanners are the future.
Now, in-display fingerprint scanning technology isn’t anything new or revolutionary. Samsung has reportedly been working on it for the last few years, but various obstacles have gotten in their way when it comes to implementing the technology. Samsung has to deal with incredibly high levels of security with its use of Knox, whereas OnePlus doesn’t have to worry about that. OnePlus has hinted about using an in-display fingerprint scanner for a while now and today they published a forum thread talking about the new OnePlus 6T feature they’re calling Screen Unlock.
The article comes from the CEO of OnePlus, Pete Lau, and it begins by saying they’ve been developing this feature for over a year. Their goal was to enable you to “perform day-to-day tasks with greater speed and convenience” while also “empowering you to do things you’ve never done before.” The technology begins with a new optical fingerprint module, but Mr. Lau says that Screen Unlock is “more than a module attached to the back of the screen.” The module has a lens which will scan your fingerprint when you press down on the glass.
The lens is actually using the screen as a light source so that it enhances the outline of your fingerprint. OnePlus is storing this fingerprint data in a dedicated “Trust Zone” of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset. This means that your fingerprint data is stored in “an isolated virtual space for the sake of confidentiality.” It’s unclear exactly how Screen Unlock for the OnePlus 6T compares to the same feature that is found in the Oppo R17, since OnePlus is using the same design of that phone and all, but the CEO of OnePlus says they’ve worked to shave “milliseconds off the unlock time and carefully refining the unlock animation.”
The company feels that Screen Unlock paired with Face Unlock will offer their customers a variety of security unlock methods to meet their preferences.