Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Another Apple patent hints at a Touch ID sensor under an iPhone screen

FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating an example of an under-display Touch ID device.

Apple has been granted a second patent (number 11,281,884) that, along with a previous patent filing (number 20220012451), hint at future iPhones with Touch ID built into the screen itself.

About the patent

The patent is dubbed “under-display fingerprint sensing based on off-axis angular light.” Fingerprint sensing and matching is widely used as a reliable technique for personal identification or verification. Apple says that an optical fingerprint-sensing device may be particularly advantageous for verification and/or authentication in an electronic device.

And if an optical fingerprint-sensing device is integrated into an electronic device or host device, the tech giant says the authentication can be performed quickly, for example, by a processor of the host device. Apple thinks a “fingerprint-sensing system/device with multidirectional illumination, such as an under-display fingerprint-sensing device” could “utilize oblique angular filters to capture the stronger signals to enhance image contrast.” 

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with technical details: “An apparatus for touch-sensing includes a light-emitting layer covered by a transparent layer and configured to illuminate a surface touching the transparent layer and to allow transmission of reflected light rays from the surface to underlying layers. The underlying layers include an optical coupling layer, a collimator layer and a pixelated image sensor. The optical coupling layer bends the reflected light rays to create oblique light rays. The collimator layer includes a number of apertures to collimate the received light rays. The pixelated image sensor senses the collimated oblique light rays.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.