Apple is Working on an “Enhanced’ Under-Display Touch ID System for the iPhone

Ali Salman
Apple iPhone 13 Touch ID and Face ID

The iPhone 13 is still months away from being announced and details on the handset's upcoming features keep pouring in. Other than this, Apple is keen to experiment with new technology for future products. In the past few months, we have heard that Apple is working on an under-display fingerprint scanner for the iPhone. While it is not certain whether the iPhone 13 will feature Touch ID or not, all the leaks and rumors point that there will be. Now, a new patent has been granted to Apple that highlights an "enhanced" under-display Touch ID system potentially for the iPhone 13.

Apple is Developing a New and "Enhanced" Touch ID System for the iPhone That Gathers Off-Axis Light to Create a Better Contrast Fingerprint Image

As mentioned earlier, Apple has been granted a new patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that shares details on a unique Touch ID system that can potentially be used on the forthcoming iPhone 13. The patent details a system that will detect light through the screen of the iPhone and can be used for Touch ID  as well as Face ID. The patent is titled "Under-display fingerprint sensing based on off-axis angular light" where the company details using light instead of ultrasonic vibrations to sense fingerprints.

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Mid-range Android smartphones are adopting optical fingerprint sensors for device unlocking and authentication. These are pretty common these days which makes use of lighting the screen where the optical sensor is. It allows the sensor to read the fingerprints easily and quickly. However, these are not as secure as one might take them to be. Apple, however, is working on a system that captures off-axis angular light which can prove to “improve the contrast of fingerprint impressions and maintain the compactness of the entire sensing system.” The light will be captured from all angles to create a better fingerprint contrast for authentication. The Touch ID system can potentially be found on the iPhone 13 models.

Apple iPhone 13 Touch ID and Face ID

The off-axis gathered light would bend with the help of a grating layer. The image sensors would convert the light into electrical signals for authentication purposes. The company also mentions the use of Fresnel prisms as well as blazed gratings to "rebind" light into straight rays. However, take note that Apple files a lot of patents and it is not necessary that they will see daylight any time soon. The iPhone 13 is rumored to feature Touch ID and Face ID for enhanced authentication purposes and might prove useful in times of a global health crisis.

We will share more details on the patent as soon as we have a word. Share your view with us in the comments section below.

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