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Microsoft Surface Phone News, Release Date and Updates: Microsoft Files Patent for New Fingerprint Scanning Technology

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, part of the Lumia lineup that the Surface Phone would be replacing. |

Microsoft is set to phase out its Lumia smartphone lineup and replace it with its own Surface brand. However, it's not only the name that will be changing as new technologies are set to appear in the upcoming smartphone range.

New Patent for Fingerprint Technology

Microsoft has reportedly filed a new patent for the Surface Phone's fingerprint scanner. This feature has been a staple for flagship devices since its mainstream introduction in 2014. However, the tech giant is expected to incorporate a new fingerprint technology for its next smartphone lineup.

The patent was titled "Fingerprint Detection with Transparent Cover". It was submitted by Microsoft in February last year and was just published last month. Along with its rumored release, this puts the Surface Phone as the device sporting new scanning technology.

The Surface Phone's fingerprint sensor would be different though. As most devices nowadays place the scanner at the rear of the device or incorporated on the home button, Microsoft will be integrating the scanner on the Surface Phone's display.

How Does It Work?

The patent shows that the tech company would be using a filter and wave guide below the screen's glass to scan for fingerprints. This would basically mean that whenever the users would key in their fingerprints to the Surface Phone's screen, the sensors on the glass side would then be able to scan the different ridges of the unique fingerprint.

The patent then states that the Surface Phone will be equipped with a transparent cover and a light source at its edge. The light source would be configured to actually inject light into the transparent cover. This would then guide the light to interact with the fingerprint ridges.

The Surface Phone would then include a filter that would go along with the transparent cover. It is configured to allow the light scattered by the fingerprint ridge to pass through selectively.

With this new fingerprint scanning technology, Microsoft would be able to make the Surface Phone thinner and lighter, as the innovation would free up the space supposedly allocated for a separate fingerprint sensor. The patent also indicates that the new technology would be compatible with either LED or AMOLED displays.

Other Details

Microsoft is expected to release the Surface Phone with flagship specs upon its release, surpassing the latest premium devices. It is reported to come with the upcoming Snapdragon 830 processor and an immense 8GB of RAM.

At least two variants of the Surface Phone would be available, with the consumer variant sporting a 5.5-inch screen, while the business model would come with a 6-inch display. There are also reports of the Surface Phone packing Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors. It will then feature a 21-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front shooter.

As expected, the Surface Phone will be running Microsoft's proprietary Windows 10 Mobile. It is also rumored to be released early on in 2017.

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