Apple patent filings propose device-based digital IDs, under-display Touch ID biometrics details

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Apple has been working on technology to replace physical passports, driver’s licenses and any physical IDs, whether library cards or ski passes, with devices like the iPhone, writes Apple Insider.

In a patent application series titled “Providing Verified Claims of User Identity,” a method to record, transmit and confirm user ID is described, yet there is no mention of iPhones carrying this technology.

“A device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity includes at least one processor configured to receive a verified claim including information to identify a user of a device,” reads one of the proposed patents, “the verified claim being signed by a server based on verification of the information by an identity verification provider separate from the server, the verified claim being specific to the device.”

Apple Insider explains this method could be used to make an iPhone deliver the ID if it was already confirmed by biometric sensors in a device such as an Apple Watch.

The user can obtain a verified identity credential “that serves as a digital identity” with trustworthy information about the user, according to the document.

The features are presented in five patent applications attributed to six inventors whose previous patents include “Data verification via independent processors of a device” and “Methods and apparatus for user authentication and human intent verification in mobile devices.”

Apple has previously collaborated on identification projects with the German and UK governments.

“Identity, to be legal, it has to be government, it has to be authenticated by the government,” has previously stated Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey. “We see, across the globe, many countries starting to use mobile to add a passport. You may use a mobile passport when you’re going through airports today, and so it is moving and I think it will continue. So, it’s not too far away, it just won’t be as fast as some of the other activities we have.”

The company recently announced a system to replace physical car keys with biometrics-backed digital ones.

Apple shares info on under-display Touch ID

In June, Samsung applied for a patent to prevent biometric fingerprint ID-related OLED burn-in, an issue that could be more noticeable given Apple’s under-display Touch ID feature for future devices, writes Patently Apple. A newly published patent application from the company discusses the integration of under-display Touch ID and a two-step temperature control process for the area.

By integrating an optional fingerprint sensor, Apple can upgrade verification and authentication for portable electronic devices. The system can be the size of a single fingerprint and processed immediately by the host device’s processor.

The sensor could be an organic optical detector (OPD) imager, a PIN diode-based photodetector or another photodetector for temperature management in the detection system.

“An OPD imager can be an array of organic semiconductor photodiodes arranged in multiple (N) rows and multiple (e.g., M) columns. Each row of the OPD imager can be read out with a multi-channel analog front-end (AFE) circuit, where the number of channels is equal to the number of columns (e.g., M) of the OPD imager. Each channel of the AFE circuit reads a charge associated with a pixel (e.g., an OPD),” the published application, which was filed in Q4 2019, explains.

The method describes a first reading which is a baseline reading and involves one or more pixels of an array, while the second reading will include the baseline and a signal. Temperature compensation is generated by removing the first reading from the second.

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