March 28, 2017 -
Apple Inc. has been granted a series of 45 U.S. patents covering biometric sensing devices, specifically a biometric sensing device that includes discrete ultrasonic transducers that could allow Touch ID to be embedded under the iPhone display, according to a report by Patently Apple.
The upcoming iPhone 8, which is set to be released in September, may be the first device to adopt such a method.
The move comes a few months after Apple received a patent that covers a fingerprint sensor that can accurately read fingerprints through a device screen.
The patent application includes a diagram showing a cover glass that can be disposed over some or all of an exterior top surface of the electronic device.
The patent describes that the cover glass can be a flexible touchable surface that is made of any suitable transparent material, such as glass, plastic, or sapphire.
A portion of the cover glass can also serve as an input surface for the ultrasonic biometric sensing device, the patent states.
Apple’s granted patent 9,607,203 was initially filed in the beginning of 2015 and has been published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Earlier this month, Apple added to its existing patents covering technology for automatically unlocking an iPhone using facial recognition, hinting that the company is still finalizing other biometric authentication methods to be integrated in future iPhones.