Apple applies for a patent on a different type of in-display fingerprint scanner

Apple applies for a patent on a different type of in-display fingerprint scanner
The Apple iPhone X was designed to minimize the bezels on the front of the phone, which led the company to come up with the TrueDepth Camera for the Face ID facial recognition system. It also forced Apple to use a notch to house the sensors for the 3D mapping camera. However, earlier this year, Apple applied for a patent on a new system that will allow it to produce iPhone models that would offer an in-display fingerprint scanner using new technology.

The USPTO recently published the application, which as we just said, reveals the use of in-display technology to scan a fingerprint. The technology in the patent does not employ the optical image scanning technique used on some handsets designed and built in China. Nor does it use the more accurate and expensive ultrasonic system like the one expected on the Samsung Galaxy S10. Apple's invention envisions the use of a dielectric sensor, other sensors that overlap, and at least one light source. The technology allows Apple to obtain 3D fingerprint ridge data. Instead of sensors, strategically placed cameras under the display could also be used to capture a fingerprint structure in 3D.

The patent application, number 20180225498, was filed back in January, which was after the launch of the Apple iPhone X. The sole inventor is Dale Setlak, who joined Apple after it purchased security and biometric firm Authentec for $356 million back in 2012.

We expect all three 2018 iPhone models to include the TrueDepth Camera and Face ID. Most likely we won't see the technology described in this patent application reach consumers until 2019-2020 at the earliest.


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12 Comments

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Apples scientists and engineers hard at work, hopefully this fingerprint scanner is available on next years iPhone(s).

27. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1477; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Wouldn't count on it.

4. ahmadkun

Posts: 670; Member since: May 02, 2016

I'm happy that apple thinking right and not to count on face ID, i really don't feel comfortable with it.

8. maka1ne

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

This would be used for future Apple watches

14. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Still a piece of turd!

16. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Then why are you obsessed with them?

20. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Corners will have to be cut for this to make into production, not going to pan out.

21. doublestandardz

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 06, 2018

I am downgrading to a iPhone se so tired of this sheet eating crap Face ID that NEVER works!!! Give me a f n finger scanner already!!! It sucks bc I really love my iPhone X.

23. Vokilam

Posts: 1387; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Using Face ID - works great. Better than using fingerprint scanners. You are a liar.

28. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1477; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It's really not though

24. biggles

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 15, 2009

The real question is how this will fare with smudges, water, or debris. This is already a known issue with optical sensors, and something the ultrasonic method can handle. I suspect an optical-capacitive method will still be inferior in this aspect.

29. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Don't read too much into patents as the vast majority never see the light of day. For example in 2017 Apple were granted over 2000 patents and that is low for a tech company, to put it into perspective Samsung was granted over 8000 patents in 2017 and actually owns over 75,000 active patents.

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