Last year, Apple made a major change in the smartphone industry by abandoning the fingerprint scanner (TouchID) and introducing facial recognition or FaceID. This also led the company to integrate a “notch”, a trend that was later followed by several Android OEMs. Now, the company has obtained a new patent that indicates the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor on screen, which we have seen in some Android devices this year.
The patent granted by the USPTO suggests that Apple could use a new method to operate the display of fingerprints on screen. The smartphone is not mentioned using the optical image scanning technique or the expensive ultrasonic system that is rumored to arrive in Samsung Galaxy S10.
The patent talks about a dielectric sensor with other superimposed sensors and a light source to operate the fingerprint on a screen. This will allow Apple to generate 3D fingerprint data.
For those who don’t know, the patent was filed in January of this year, one month after the iPhone X was made available in some markets. The patent says that Dale Setlak is the sole investor. Setlak joined Apple when the Cupertino-based technology company acquired Authentec, a biometrics company in 2012.
Although the patent has been granted by the USPTO, we may not see it coming in the upcoming iPhone 2018 models. However, there is a chance that the company will bring it in 2019 or 2020 iPhone combined.
For this year, the three iPhone models that have been the subject of rumours will feature FaceID technology in addition to the notch. The handsets will have essentially the same “eyeglass free” design as the current iPhone X smartphone. According to a new TrendForce report, two of the upcoming OLED iPhone devices this year will support Apple Pencil, an accessory that is currently supported by iPad Pro models. They are also said to have 512 GB of integrated storage.