According to the latest news, in a development that suggests Apple could bring back Touch ID in a new avatar in future iPhones, the company has been granted a patent. The patent has been granted by none other than USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office).
Apple has been granted a patent for an under-display optical image sensor that would be “positioned at least partially behind a display and is configured to emit shortwave infrared light”.
The patent was applied back in October of 2018 and it recently got approved. The patent number of the device is 10,824,837 B2. According to the patent filing, in order to map the ridges on the finger that is pressed against the screen, this technology would use shortwave infrared light.
The image shown in the patent seems to depict an electronic device, presumably a smartphone with the said technology underneath its touchscreen display to analyze fingerprints for verification.
Note that the technology would apparently use infrared light that would be reflected by a finger on to a photosensitive element for verification. It won’t interfere with the display, while a photosensitive element would filter out light from the visible spectrum since infrared light is not part of the visible spectrum.
It will be interesting to see whether the company uses this technology right away in its next-generation iPhones next year or if the technology still needs some more polish. As of now, we have no further information regarding the technology such as how the company will introduce the new feature in its upcoming smartphones and tablets.
Given that many users continue to crave for Touch ID though it had been replaced by the Face ID, this feature will be a welcome addition.