Apple New Touch ID Fingerprint Reader Under Screen

The new generation of iPhone mobiles has already arrived in Spain, and although they bring important news regarding the iPhone 11, there are also some shortcomings with respect to the rumours published in recent months.

One of the most anticipated news, which has not finally come true, is the return of Touch ID. The iPhone 12 continues to depend exclusively on Face ID, using the front cameras and sensors to detect our face.

It is a nuisance in these times of pandemic and masks, especially since it seemed that Apple already had the technology to recover Touch ID by integrating it into the power button, just as it works in the new iPad Air 

Touch ID Lap

For unknown reasons, Apple has decided not to use the Touch ID version on the iPhone 12; And it looks like it won't be used in any other future smartphone either. Instead, it is preparing the jump to fingerprint readers under the screen.

This is revealed by the latest patent awarded to Apple by the US Patent Office, which the company requested last October 2019. The documents describe a new user identification system integrated under the screen.

Of course, fingerprint readers under the screen are not exactly new. Most new Android phones have it, and although in some cases its operation leaves something to be desired, in many others it is a fast and safe way to unlock our mobile.

Under The Screen

Apple's implementation would be based on an optical element located under the screen, capable of emitting short-wave infrared light through the screen itself. This light would be reflected by the user's finger when they press a specific region on the screen; this reflection in turn would be captured by a photosensitive element.

Based on the information obtained, it can be compared with the user's fingerprint stored in the system, although the patent does not talk about it and focuses only on the system to obtain the fingerprint.

There are several striking details about this implementation. To begin with, the patent indicates that the user must put his finger on a specific area reserved for Touch ID; In the example, this area is at the bottom of the screen, and not in the centre as is common with other models. 

It may be a simple example and the final version is very different, but it is interesting that Apple has used precisely that area. In addition, this area is wider than usual, when it is normally a specific point on the screen.

That Apple has received this patent only means that now it is yours; it does not mean that I will actually use it or that I am using it. But everything fits: if Apple wants to recover Touch ID for the launch of the iPhone 13, this is a giant step for it.

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