Apple obtains a patent for an under-display optical biometric sensor

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Apple has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an under-display fiber optic bundle that can capture 2D or 3D biometric images such as a face or fingerprint in its field of view. vision with greater precision, which may be a sign of its plans for biometric capture on its future devices.

The patent entitled “Optical transmission or reception adjacent to the screen using optical fibers” (number 11,327,237), is described as an embodiment of optical sensing systems, devices, methods and apparatus using optical fibers or beams optical fibers and, and in particular near -display optical detection. Unlike optoelectronic components under a screen that emit or receive electromagnetic radiation through the screen, Apple’s patent uses fiber optics or fiber optic bundles to route electromagnetic radiation between an optoelectronic component placed under, partially under, or adjacent to a screen, along one edge of the display, to an area of ​​an optically transmitted component or surface.

Apple states that electromagnetic radiation emitted and detected next to a screen using fiber optics would increase the effectiveness of electromagnetic capture compared to a method that emits or detects through a screen. The patent filing states that under-display optoelectronic capture can cause optical transmission losses of 95-99%.

This patent could connect to front cameras, speakers, microphones and a mechanical or virtual button on the front, writes Apple. These functions have the potential to be configured as a proximity sensor; a 2D or 3D camera; a biometric authentication sensor for facial recognition or fingerprints; an eye/gaze tracker; device tracker; optical tracking system; and an optical communication system.

The patent filing exposes the potential for data collection with the collection of personal information data that can be used to identify, locate or contact a specific person. Examples of personal information data provided by Apple are a user’s demographic data, location, home address, health or fitness level (vital signs, medications, exercise), and date of birth. This data may be used to enable or disable device features or to collect performance metrics, such as fitness goals for relevant apps.

Apple aspired to improve its biometric sensors such as FaceID and TouchID with an under-display sensor, which is widely seen as a difficult prospect. Industry rumors often swirl about its latest steps toward achieving that goal, such as a USPTO patent granted to Apple in July 2021 for an under-display camera compatible with FaceID and TouchID, and a report from product analyst Ming. -Chi Kuo that an iPhone with under-display 3D facial biometrics will be launched in 2024.

Article topics

apple | biometrics | patents | research and development | under display

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