Apple continues plans for Touch ID embedded within displays

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is continuing research on ways for a sensor to be included inside a display, needed to bring back Touch ID without a visible button.

Apple continues to work on bringing back Touch ID without a button
Apple continues to work on bringing back Touch ID without a button


If we don't get an iPhone with Touch ID included within the display, it will not be for want of trying. Maybe there are more Apple patents regarding the "Apple Car," but those for embedded Touch ID must come a close second.

A newly-revealed one comes from the inventors of two previous patent applications on the topic. "Electronic device display for through-display imaging," is concerned with how Touch ID could be achieved through invisible, tiny, notches.

Apple calls this "through-display imaging," and says that a display can include "an imaging aperture defined through an opaque backing." This does involve the display having a gap, or as Apple calls it, an aperture. And the "optical imaging array" which performs Touch ID would be "aligned with the aperture."

However, this is not the same as a notch because the aperture would not be a black, blanked-off, noticeable gap in the screen.

"Above the aperture," continues the patent, "the display is arranged and/or configured for increased optical transmittance."

"For example, a region of the display above, or adjacent to, the imaging aperture can be formed with a lower pixel density than other regions of the display, thereby increasing inter-pixel distance (e.g., pitch)," it says, "and increasing an area through which light can traverse the display to reach the optical imaging array."

The aim is explicitly to get rid of the need for a visible notch -- and make the device as slim as possible, too.

"[Currently, an] imaging sensor typically requires a large-area protective cover that extends beyond the periphery of the display stack in order to reserve space to accommodate the imaging sensor," says the patent. "This conventional construction undesirably increases the apparent size of a bezel region circumscribing the display, while also undesirably increasing the size and volume of the housing of the electronic device."

Apple proposes that a display can have a region that has a "lower pixel density" than the rest. It doesn't necessarily mean lower resolution, though.

Detail from the patent showing one arrangement of a sensor beneath a display
Detail from the patent showing one arrangement of a sensor beneath a display


One possibility is that this region will feature both a regular pixel density, and an option to lower it. So when Touch ID is required, for example, the region could effectively turn off some pixels and increase "an area through which light can traverse the display to reach the optical imaging array."

Unlike a notch, this aperture needn't be capable of working alone. Rather than a single sensor optically reading a fingerprint, the system could be "configured to receive light transmitted through one or more inter-pixel sub-regions." So, the bio sensor could combine what it reads from many such apertures across the screen's surface area, and the data "can be aggregated into an image or sequence of images."

The same idea could be used in a MacBook Pro display
The same idea could be used in a MacBook Pro display


The great majority of the 14,000-word patent is clearly directed at using this idea for the iPhone and iPad. However, there is one drawing that suggests it could also be used on a MacBook Pro, replacing the current Touch ID button.

This patent is credited to Mohammad Yeke Yazdandoost, and Giovanni Gozzini. While Apple has many patents and patent applications regarding Touch ID, these two also worked on related previous ones.

Specifically, they are credited on patent applications to do with embedding sensors inside displays, and separately to embed antennas too.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,544member
    Under screen touch id got to happen. Face ID is great tech but many still like touch id. Face ID's use of low energy laser,IR are low risk harmless but nobody's tested the effects of daily exposure over a span of years especially eyes,
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    chemengin1Japhey
  • Reply 3 of 9
    M68000M68000 Posts: 367member
    Wouldn’t it be nice to get this in next years phones?  I think Android has had this for a few years now.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    mushmashmushmash Posts: 21member
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    Alex_VStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 9
    mushmash said:
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    You are absolutely wrong on this. Touch ID under display (Optical one) has been working well for at least 3 years now. Only Samsung has got it wrong (ultrasonic one) for 2.5 years and fixed it in their latest flagship phones.
    avon b7
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    mushmash said:
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    You are absolutely wrong on this. Touch ID under display (Optical one) has been working well for at least 3 years now. Only Samsung has got it wrong (ultrasonic one) for 2.5 years and fixed it in their latest flagship phones.
    I think they’re trying to come up with FaceID and TouchID in the same sensor, working from behind the screen. 
    edited July 27
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Rayz2016 said:
    mushmash said:
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    You are absolutely wrong on this. Touch ID under display (Optical one) has been working well for at least 3 years now. Only Samsung has got it wrong (ultrasonic one) for 2.5 years and fixed it in their latest flagship phones.
    I think they’re trying to come up with FaceID and TouchID in the same sensor, working from behind the screen. 
    I am not sure that Apple will be launching iPhones with FaceID and TouchID in the same sensor this year. TouchID under screen is a matured technology, already available for masses (working properly) in Android phones for last 3 years. Selfie camera under display is a work in progress as of now. Only ZTE has launched 2 phones with half baked implementations (basically prototype) of selfie camera under display which is not adequate even for other Android OEM's standards, let alone Apple's standards. This is an evolving technology and will take few years to mature. And that is only selfie camera on the Android world. FaceID has more components and not sure about the complexities involved in moving them under display. It would be at least 2-3 years before FaceID under display becomes a reality. My bet would be that Touch ID under display and shrunken notch for FaceID this year.
    avon b7
  • Reply 8 of 9
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,904member
    mushmash said:
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    It works perfectly well - even for an iPhone. 

    Much better than having to pull your mask down to unlock your phone. 

    Also, fingerprint scanners can go anywhere (front, back and side). At a wider level, biometrics can even be spread out over different devices. 

    At the end of the day, having biometric options is a good thing. Two options wouldn't have been asking for much. 

    edited July 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 9
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    avon b7 said:
    mushmash said:
    Why does Android have this technology but not Apple. I miss the days when Apple was innovative instead of emulating the competition. 
    It doesn't work well enough to put in an iPhone. Android manufacturers have a history of jumping on new technology very fast, without caring about the actual functionality, just to beef up their spec-sheet.

    Apple would be SLAUGHTERED if they did this, and they also have other considerations to keep in mind, like the sheer number of parts they need.
    It works perfectly well - even for an iPhone. 

    Much better than having to pull your mask down to unlock your phone

    Also, fingerprint scanners can go anywhere (front, back and side). At a wider level, biometrics can even be spread out over different devices. 

    At the end of the day, having biometric options is a good thing. Two options wouldn't have been asking for much. 

    Thank goodness you don’t need to. Either use the biometrics on your Watch, or simply key in your passcode. 
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