Apple patent shows more sensors integrated under the display, bezel-less iPhone inbound?

Apple patent shows more sensors integrated under the display, bezel-less iPhone inbound?
A while ago, we showed you a patent describing Apple's technology for embedding a fingerprint sensor and other touch-sensitive components below the device's display. Today, another patent has been unearthed, showing that Apple has the ability to fuse the ambient light sensor, and possibly other types of sensors directly with the screen. This means that no extra space around the display will be required for placing these sensors on the smartphone, letting Apple realize those rumored plans for an all-screen iPhone 8 coming in 2017.

Of course, an ambient light sensor's purpose is to automatically adjust the display's brightness according to the surrounding lighting conditions so that, for example, the screen is clearly visible under bright light or sufficiently dim while in the dark as to not strain your eyes. Literally all modern smartphones have one, and it usually lives on a bezel either above or below the display. Apple, however, is placing theirs under the screen itself, and claims the same technique can be applied for the proximity sensor as well.

However, there's a possible flaw with this design. The part of the display where the sensor is embedded might lose its touch functionality, but the screen real estate can be utilized to show non-interactive information such as time and battery life. Apple is clearly moving in an all-screen direction with these patents, and a bezel-less iPhone seems to be merely a question of time at this point.


source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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24 Comments

1. truthwins unregistered

Thats a cool concept.

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7581; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It is cool. They just have to wait for Samsung to make the displays for Apple. Or wait for LG who makes Apples current displays for their iPhones.

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Bezel is there for a reason, removing it is going to be a bad idea despite how people want it.

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

There should still be somewhat of a side bezel. What people are hoping for is the get rid of the front bezels.

7. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I second that. Though thin bezels are good, zero bezels has it's cons in a scenario where the phone gets dropped. Heck, handling a 100%.bezelless phone without a case on it wouldn't be easy, nor be without a hella accidental taps.

10. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 2013

trojan which phone are you using these days? (assuming you turned in your note)

11. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

^this

3. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Cool! Once they figure out the front camera and speaker, then it can be all screen!

5. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1347; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Once the bezel is gone there will be nothing left to protect your falling phone.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I wonder how Samsung is going to design their all-touch S8 with Apple patenting these methods of hiding the sensors. It'll be interesting to see which design method turns out to be better. Will Samsung be able to develop one that allows the sensor to be hidden and still have a touch layer?

8. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

So apparently I got one of the iPhones that's "hissing" it's really low but I can still hear it. I called apple support and they said to just wait. Has anyone else had better luck taking the phone into a store?

9. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You might want to worry about getting rid of that Note 7 in your pic first!

12. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Lmaoooo got rid of it yesterday

14. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Hahahaha!!

16. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Mine is just fine. I ordered the iPhone 7 Plus 256 GB and so far no noise no matter how much stress the phone is under. What version do you have?

19. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

32 Matte Black, Its not noticeable at all. My wife's phone does the same thing. Phone works fine but idk if I should try and get it replaced.

13. bossman

Posts: 264; Member since: Jan 27, 2016

Wouldn't fingerprints on the screen cloud the sensor?

15. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

That's an interesting question!

17. AlikMalix unregistered

Well if you cover the sensor with your hand right now nothin happens - I think proximity is a key here. Sensors scan the environment - not just color of darkness (hope that makes sense).

18. bossman

Posts: 264; Member since: Jan 27, 2016

Actually something does happen because my screen get darker even in broad daylight. Ambient light sensors just scan the amount of light or absence of light caught in the sensor's line.

20. nodes

Posts: 1163; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

if Apple could pull the all screen iPhone right, i think it will be that "iPhone 4" era again or even the original iPhone.

21. pooma

Posts: 101; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

do not thinkk. coz you are an idiot

22. SpookySager

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 21, 2016

I really hope this form factor turns out to be similar to the original Moto X (2013 I think). That phone had a 4.7" screen and is way smaller than the current non-plus iPhone. If Apple can provide that form factor with a bump to screen resolution, this should turn out to be really nice.

24. Shab14

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 22, 2016

Apple will finally give you less bezels in Iphone 8(like android phones of 2014).Talk about innovation.

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