An Apple patent covers biometric imaging under an iPhone screen for fingerprint and iris imaging, facial recognition+

While there are rumors that Apple has left Touch ID under the display, Apple continues to work on their patented invention that doesn’t just include Touch ID under the display. as well as iris imaging and Face ID below the screen. In April, Patently Apple published an IP report titled, “Apple wins a patent for Killing the Notch and placing their TrueDepth camera system behind the screen so as not to interfere with content.” Apple will have to implement today’s invention or a similar invention to ensure that Face ID continues to function under an iPhone screen.

Apple’s invention includes a display and an image sensor behind the display. The display is made up of a number of structural and functional layers collectively referred to as a “display stack”. The image sensor may be any suitable image sensor, including both single element image sensors (e.g., photodiodes, phototransistors, photosensitive elements, etc.) and multi-element image sensors (e.g., complementary metal oxide-semiconductor arrays, photodiode arrays, and so on). For ease of reference, image sensors – however constructed or implemented – are referred to herein as “optical image arrays”.

in many versions, an optical image array is positioned behind a display and is oriented to receive light transmitted through the display in a direction generally opposite to that of light emitted from the display.

The optical imaging array may be used by the electronic device for any suitable imaging, detection, or data aggregation purpose, including, but not limited to: ambient light detection; proximity detection; depth measurement; receive structured light; optical communications; proximity detection; biometric imaging (e.g., fingerprint imaging, iris imaging, facial recognition, etc.); and such.

Apple’s patent FIG. 1A below depicts an electronic device which may include a display stack suitable for imaging by the display; Fig. 1B shows a simplified block diagram of the electronic device of FIG. 1A; Fig. 6A depicts an electronic device including a display stack with a locally enhanced interpixel transmission.

2 fingerprint scanning under display patent

More specifically, Apple notes that it is clear that regions of different pixel densities can be placed anywhere within an electronic device display. For example, patent FIG. 6A depicts an electronic device #600 that includes a display stack defining an active display area #602 which in turn defines a high pixel density area #604 and a low pixel density area #606.

In this example, when a user of the electronic device touches the active display area #602 above the low pixel density area #606, the optical image array can display the user’s fingerprint. The user’s fingerprint can be displayed when the user’s finger is stationary or moving.

In some cases, the active display area #602 may display an image or animation that encourages the user to touch a certain part of the low pixel density area #606 so that the user’s fingerprint can be captured.

For example, in some embodiments, the active display area may display a shape within the low pixel density area #606. The shape can be animated in a way that grabs the user’s attention. For example, the shape can pulse, rotate in three dimensions, flash one or more colors, vibrate, and so on. In other cases, other shapes, patterns or animations are possible.

To view Apple’s patent application number 20220198820 for more details and their addition of 20 new patent claims, click here.

As this is a patent application, the timing of such a product on the market is unknown at this time.

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