Google Pixel 2 Rumors: Rear-Located Fingerprint Sensor with Touch Control Features Confirmed?

By Josef Bell, | June 27, 2017

The Google Pixel 2 2017 as imagined by concept creator Benjamin Geskin

The Google Pixel 2 2017 as imagined by concept creator Benjamin Geskin

The next-generation Google Pixel handsets will feature a rear-located fingerprint sensor that will also double as a touch control pad for gesture-initiated device functionalities. This was suggested by newly awarded Google patent, a new report said.

The technology patent pointed to by BGR and first published by Patently Mobile proposed a mobile device feature that will make use of a touch sensitive surface on the back of a handset. It appears the chief function of the control pad is to facilitate the reading biometric inputs, which when implemented with the Google Pixel will become the fingerprint sensor.

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However, the same control pad is also expected to read and interpret user gestures, suggesting of a unique Pixel phone functionality that the report said will not be found on other flagship models, the iPhone 8 including.

The Google patent discussed the use of "a resistive touch sensor, a surface acoustic wave touch sensor, a surface capacitance sensor, a projected capacitance sensor, a mutual capacitance sensor, a self-capacitance sensor, an infrared grid sensor, an infrared acrylic projection sensor, an optical imaging sensor, a dispersive signal sensor, an acoustic pulse recognition sensor, and so forth," to make the unique feature happen, the report added.

But to be clear, while it's clear Google has the capability to actually deploy the feature there is no solid assurance the Pixel 2 models will unbox with the imagined functionality.

Speculations are rife the Pixel 2 upgrades will consist of two handset models codenamed for now as Walleye and Taimen. Walleye is tipped as the direct successor of the original Pixel and will boast of a 4.97-inch display. Taimen, on the other hand, is thought to be a supersized phablet with a 5.99-inch display. The same device is rumored with hybrid functions of phone and tablet, leading some Android fans to call it as the unofficial replacement to the Nexus 7.

Leaked details have indicated the smaller of the Pixel phones will remain the production responsibility of HTC, which handled the original models. The Pixel XL 2 project is said to be awarded to LG, which previously assembled the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X for Google.

Both Pixel 2 handsets are expected to unpack baked in with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chip that will tap into 6GB of RAM support with Android O or Oatmeal Cookie running the show. Release date is reportedly set October 2017.

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