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Apple receives patents for ultrasonic fingerprint sensors and in-display fingerprint system


An ultrasonic fingerprint sensor system for integration on both the front and back of smartphones is among 44 patents recently granted to Apple and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Patently Apple reports. The patents also include one for an in-display fingerprint reader.

The ultrasonic touch sensor system is configured to both collect biometric data such as fingerprints or palm prints, but also to identify the location of the hand on the surface, which presumably can be used for behavioural biometrics. The patent was originally filed in late 2014, and depicts an array of sensors around the display on the front of a device, or forming a square on the rear.

It was reported earlier this month that both Apple and Samsung are working on ultrasonic fingerprint sensors for in-display integration in smartphones, and that Apple’s integration will come next year at the earliest.

The in-display fingerprint sensor patent is for a full-display fingerprint sensor. It describes one or more fingerprints being read by a fingerprint sensor either included in the display stack underneath a cover sheet, or attached to the bottom of the cover sheet, above the display stack. The patent was filed in Q3, 2014.

The group of patents also includes touch controls built into the bezel of an iPhone, and what Patently Apple calls “a mysterious design patent for a possible future MacBook.”

Meanwhile, Apple continues to develop its 3D face recognition technology, having recently been granted a patent for an infrared vein recognition system.

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