OnePlus on Sunday published its latest blog post wherein the Chinese phone maker details the reason behind using a Screen Unlock in-display fingerprint sensor in the 6.41-inch AMOLED panel of the OnePlus 6T. The post also talks about exactly how the technology works on the phone, and how it has been in the testing phase since the OnePlus 5T. OnePlus claims that Screen Unlock gets better over time, as it learns through sophisticated algorithms during the owner's usage of the smartphone.
In the blog post published on OnePlus Forums, the company's copywriter Dale F details how OnePlus spent over a year in development to perfect the Screen Unlock feature for the OnePlus 6T, which sports a 2nd-gen optical fingerprint module. A graphic is also included that shows that the phone's unlock animation provides a light source to illuminate the finger. The green light reflected allows the sensor to “see” the fingerprint, which is then stored securely. Post that, whenever a fingerprint is scanned, it is matched with the stored fingerprint to unlock the handset.
Next, OnePlus claims that the latest OnePlus 6T “uses sophisticated algorithms to improve over time as they learn more about the way you unlock your phone.”
One of the software engineers at the company shed light on how it gets better over time. “Every time a user successfully unlocks the phone with their fingerprint, the sensor also records areas of the finger that weren't registered in the initial fingerprint setup stage," said Yale Liu, software engineer, OnePlus. "This fingerprint data is then added to the data the phone already holds, making it more complete. So, every time the in-display fingerprint sensor is used, it gathers more data about the user's fingerprint. This means that over time, the phone will unlock even faster.'
He also goes on to say the algorithms are sophisticated enough to know when your finger is wet or if you have a cut on it. In these cases, the phone just adds this new data to the algorithm to improve unlock speeds in the future.
Further, the blog post also details certain tips to use the Screen Unlock feature “like a pro”. These include upgrading to the latest software version, avoiding extreme temperatures, registering the fingerprint in a bright environment, making sure the finger is clean, adjusting pressure applied while unlocking, and using Face Unlock alongside Screen Unlock.
The OnePlus 6T received improvements for its Screen Unlock feature back in early November with the OxygenOS 9.0.5 software update. The improvement, however, was not apparent at the time of release but the latest blog post might just have answered why.