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Apple files patent for Touch ID sensor found in iPhone 5s

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
The United States Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application covering the electronic packaging and sapphire lens of the company's new Touch ID fingerprint sensors.

Touch ID
Apple's marketing material for the Touch ID sensor, left, and patent application, right.


The patent, entitled "Capacitive Sensor Packaging," almost exactly mirrors the implementation found in Apple's latest flagship handset. The packaging includes a "responsive element" that detects the proximity of a user's fingerprint --?the stainless steel ring that surrounds the iPhone 5s home button --?and a sensor cover made of "an anisotropic dielectric material, for example sapphire."

Touch ID's aesthetic treatments have been included as well, as the patent details "an ink assembly...printed on the lens" that "has the effect that the otherwise-translucent button can be made opaque, so the elements of the fingerprint recognition sensor are not immediately visible to the user."

Other methods of proximity detection --?like optical or infrared sensing --?are also covered. The filing predicts that new methods like these might be needed in the future because requiring a user to place their finger within a specific area limits "the design flexibility for the fingerprint recognition sensor."

Fingerprint Sensor
An earlier Apple patent application showing a method for embedding a fingerprint sensor inside an LCD.


Interestingly, the patent leaves open the possibility of embedding the sensor behind a "display element." This marks the second mention this year of an in-display fingerprint sensor, after a separate patent filing surfaced in June detailing a method of embedding a fingerprint sensor within an LCD.

The application was filed on March 15 and credits no less than nine inventors --?Benjamin J. Pope, Shawn Arnold, Barry J. Corlett, Terry L. Gilton, Syed Husaini, Steven Webster, Scott A. Myers, Matthew D. Hill, and Benjamin B. Lyon.
post #2 of 28
What's the point? Samsung will copy it in 2014, say Apple can't put a patent on circles and by the time it gets to court in 2023 there will be other security systems in place. Meanwhile Samsung will have made billions and claim they owe Apple 52 cents for stealing their product.
post #3 of 28
I am a little confused, I am almost positive the current Touch ID in the 5S has been patented during its conception and this must be a derivative of the original concept being patented.

Either way, hurry before Samesung & Co find loop holes with patents! 1wink.gif
post #4 of 28
Is that the sound of Samsung's copy machines firing up?
post #5 of 28

Yeah, I missed link to original Touch ID patent filing. Hope this covers Apple!

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

What's the point? Samsung will copy it in 2014, say Apple can't put a patent on circles and by the time it gets to court in 2023 there will be other security systems in place. Meanwhile Samsung will have made billions and claim they owe Apple 52 cents for stealing their product.

Samsung's home button is more rectangular. Totally different. /s
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryant NorCal View Post
 

Yeah, I missed link to original Touch ID patent filing. Hope this covers Apple!

 

This is much harder to copy than the look and feel of the iPhone or the UI.

The tech is mostly in the software and Samdung won't be able to copy that.  Not to mention they won't have a cheap sapphire supplier or custom chipset to isolate touch ID from the rest of the system.

 

On a side note my touchID was working about 80% time last week.  What I did was scan my same finger twice.  Since then the touchID has worked literally 100%.  Not a single bad scan for over a week (probably about 300 scans)

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

On a side note my touchID was working about 80% time last week.  What I did was scan my same finger twice.  Since then the touchID has worked literally 100%.  Not a single bad scan for over a week (probably about 300 scans)

Good idea! I'll remember that when I get my 5s.

 

I think in the next year or so, we'll see this across Apple products...next high end iPads, then high end models of MBP's and eventually MBA's and possibly iMacs, maybe.

post #9 of 28
http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/11/a-new-apple-iphone-5s-touch-id-patent-surfaces.html Has a much more complete description of the new patent including what looks like the same drawing but with labels detailing each component.

I'm used to seeing less exact patent drawings, which gives the anticipated owner the ability to make changes without resubmitting a patent request. This drawing is close to an engineering drawing making any copying of it (by Samsung and others) a whole lot easier to determine. The components of Touch ID might have come with their own patents but Apple is showing a working product made up of these components and asking to patent that collection. Samsung can question the idea of this device but I bet they can't question a patent covering this exact combination of components with any prior art. Apple's earlier patent application shows the generic fingerprint sensor but the new patent application shows a very specific product called Touch ID. It even shows the shell of an iPhone so I can't see Samsung getting anywhere trying to challenge the legality of this patent.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
 

Good idea! I'll remember that when I get my 5s.

 

I think in the next year or so, we'll see this across Apple products...next high end iPads, then high end models of MBP's and eventually MBA's and possibly iMacs, maybe.

 

I hope so!  I have an Air also and it bugs me (just a little) that i need to type my password.

post #11 of 28
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I think in the next year or so, we'll see this across Apple products...next high end iPads, then high end models of MBP's and eventually MBA's and possibly iMacs, maybe.

 

TouchID won’t be coming to Macs. It’ll come to their replacement, though.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryant NorCal View Post

Either way, hurry before Samesung & Co find loop holes with patents! 1wink.gif

As Crosslad suggests Samsung doesn't need to find loopholes with the patent because they live in the loophole that is the patent system. Make billions and then get a slap on the wrist.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

This is much harder to copy than the look and feel of the iPhone or the UI.

The tech is mostly in the software and Samdung won't be able to copy that.  Not to mention they won't have a cheap sapphire supplier or custom chipset to isolate touch ID from the rest of the system.

 

On a side note my touchID was working about 80% time last week.  What I did was scan my same finger twice.  Since then the touchID has worked literally 100%.  Not a single bad scan for over a week (probably about 300 scans)

 

I'm a bit less than 80%. Tried enter the finger again, but that has not helped. Are you suggesting keeping both scans? Sounds like it. 

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryant NorCal View Post

I am a little confused, I am almost positive the current Touch ID in the 5S has been patented during its conception and this must be a derivative of the original concept being patented.

Either way, hurry before Samesung & Co find loop holes with patents! 1wink.gif

 

The IP behind the actual sensor is patented, the sensor "package" was not.

 

I believe older sensors needed extremely close, almost direct contact in order to read the print. The surfaces of those sensors were highly prone to wear making the sensors unreliable.

 

I'm sure we'll also see a few software patents related to how the sensor encrypts, saves, and verifies fingerprints.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #15 of 28

Anyone know if identical patents had been applied for in Germany, China, etc., etc.?

 

Wasn't one Apple patent invalidated in Germany because Jobs showing off the first iPhone in public constituted prior art?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
 

 

I'm a bit less than 80%. Tried enter the finger again, but that has not helped. Are you suggesting keeping both scans? Sounds like it. 

 

Yes keep BOTH scans.  That gives you 2x the chance it works.  For myself it has worked literally 100% of the time for the past week.  If that does not work to 3 scans. 

post #17 of 28
I hate to say it, but I have turned off finger scan on my 5s. It worked fine when I set it up, but over the course a week or so it began to degrade in effectiveness. I had scanned three different fingers, and at first using an alternate finger helped, but eventually all failed and I had to resort to my code nearly every time.

So, I started over and re-scanned all my fingers. Everything worked fine for a few days, but then the same thing happened. It seemed to start forgetting my fingerprints again. Finally it got to the point that I was entering my code 90% of the time, so in frustration I shut it off yesterday.

Am I alone with this issue? I am 67 and have noticed that with age, my thinning skin seems to have made my fingerprint grooves less deep. Could this be a cause?
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I hate to say it, but I have turned off finger scan on my 5s. It worked fine when I set it up, but over the course a week or so it began to degrade in effectiveness. I had scanned three different fingers, and at first using an alternate finger helped, but eventually all failed and I had to resort to my code nearly every time.

So, I started over and re-scanned all my fingers. Everything worked fine for a few days, but then the same thing happened. It seemed to start forgetting my fingerprints again. Finally it got to the point that I was entering my code 90% of the time, so in frustration I shut it off yesterday.

Am I alone with this issue? I am 67 and have noticed that with age, my thinning skin seems to have made my fingerprint grooves less deep. Could this be a cause?

 

Try scanning the SAME finger FIVE times(use same finger for all 5 slots).  Make sure you finger is not wet or have any substance on it when you scan.

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

TouchID won’t be coming to Macs. It’ll come to their replacement, though.

Why not? Would make as much sense as with iIS devices. Logging in, purchases...
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #20 of 28
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post
Why not?

 

The Mac is old. That’s about it. It’s last century’s tech. And where’s it supposed to be? Can’t put it on the keyboard; too much dirt and debris gets there. Can’t put it on the Magic Trackpad; no room without compromising design. Can’t put it on the computers themselves; it would be horizontal on the Mac Mini (dust), vertical on the iMac (unergonomic), and horizontal on the laptops.

 

Beyond that, the software ecosystem doesn’t yet justify it. When Apple does their multitouch desktop solution, we’ll certainly see TouchID.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #21 of 28

What I’m chuckling about is the trolls all labeling the Touch ID and 64 bit CPU as marketing gimmicks and of no value. We heard that the Touch ID was easily defeated and anyone using it was stupid. Then we heard that 64 bit CPUs were useless unless they had the extra RAM to address. Next year EVERY smartphone will have fingerprint authentication and a 64 bit CPU and suddenly these features will be indispensable.

 

I hope this patent is a good one and necessary to provide reliable, easy, secure authentication. Then let’s see if the competition can match it without copying it.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

The Mac is old. That’s about it. It’s last century’s tech. And where’s it supposed to be? Can’t put it on the keyboard; too much dirt and debris gets there. Can’t put it on the Magic Trackpad; no room without compromising design. Can’t put it on the computers themselves; it would be horizontal on the Mac Mini (dust), vertical on the iMac (unergonomic), and horizontal on the laptops.

 

Beyond that, the software ecosystem doesn’t yet justify it. When Apple does their multitouch desktop solution, we’ll certainly see TouchID.

 

There are plenty of places to embed the Touch ID as defined in that filing.

 

Power button. Including those next to the keyboard itself on MacBooks. Maybe embedded somewhere in the bezel surrounding the screen on MacBooks or Desktops. 

 

My MacBook Air is hardly "last century's tech". Derived from, yes, but very forward leaning otherwise. I'd love to have a Touch ID on the power button. As it is, I have to type in my login every time I wake it from sleep. It's both a hassle and insecure.

 

Would it be great to tap the power button (not press it, just touch it) and that's it? Yes it would. For logging back in after sleep, or for authorizing purchases using my Mac. Security that is nearly transparent? No reason NOT to add it to a mac. Especially portable ones like the MBA or MBP.

 

Just one man's differing opinion though. :)

 

EDIT:  Side note. Their previous filing about embedding the sensor under a display certainly does imply the possibility of embedding it into a laptop trackpad or Magic Trackpad, since those are made of glass. We may have assumed "screen", but what about trackpad?

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Samsung's home button is more rectangular. Totally different. /s

 

More of a "rounded rectangle", I wonder if Samsung patented it?

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
 

Good idea! I'll remember that when I get my 5s.

 

I think in the next year or so, we'll see this across Apple products...next high end iPads, then high end models of MBP's and eventually MBA's and possibly iMacs, maybe.

 

I found I needed to use one little finger so I can access my iPhone when eating a meat pie, hamburger or other two handed food.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post

What's the point? Samsung will copy it in 2014, say Apple can't put a patent on circles and by the time it gets to court in 2023 there will be other security systems in place. Meanwhile Samsung will have made billions and claim they owe Apple 52 cents for stealing their product.


Sad but true

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

Yes keep BOTH scans.  That gives you 2x the chance it works.  For myself it has worked literally 100% of the time for the past week.  If that does not work to 3 scans. 

Thanks, I'll give it a go. 

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

This is much harder to copy than the look and feel of the iPhone or the UI.

The tech is mostly in the software and Samdung won't be able to copy that.  Not to mention they won't have a cheap sapphire supplier or custom chipset to isolate touch ID from the rest of the system.

 

On a side note my touchID was working about 80% time last week.  What I did was scan my same finger twice.  Since then the touchID has worked literally 100%.  Not a single bad scan for over a week (probably about 300 scans)

From all of the tech pages about TouchID I have heard that it learns as you use it so if your finger isn't on a part that was scanned when learning it will learn that part on a second touch.  Even if it is a little off.  

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post
 

From all of the tech pages about TouchID I have heard that it learns as you use it so if your finger isn't on a part that was scanned when learning it will learn that part on a second touch.  Even if it is a little off.  

 

My 5s works fine, the only trouble is I stare dumbly at my iPad while holding my finger on the home button waiting for it to open up...

 

...it never does, then I remember and swipe to unlock.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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