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Apple granted patents for under-display fingerprint biometrics and Face ID upgrades

Global e-dentity and Sony awarded biometric patents

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Apple has been awarded patents for an under-display fingerprint biometric system for portable electronic devices like smartphones, and for facial recognition of people only partly visible, and had a patent application published for an eye tracking system.

A patent newly awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an “Electronic device including optical image sensor having metallization layers and related methods” describes the use of an optical image sensor with circuitry and metallization layers stacked above it, and possibly a light source layer to define a finger placement area.

The system could be used not just for device unlocking, but also for biometric authentication to applications, and 9to5Mac reports that the fingerprint sensing area could be quite large. The publication also notes that unlike many patent applications, this one seems to have a likely implementation in its future, as Apple has been moving towards an “infinity” or full-front display for some time.

The company has also had dozens of other newly granted patents published by the USPTO, including for technologies to allow for Face ID biometric face recognition to work with partially visible faces and those obscured by challenging lighting conditions, Patently Apple reports.

The face detection process that begins the Face ID workflow does not currently with faces that are not fully visible, so one of the new patents describes the use of a neural network implemented to detect faces and provide a bounding box, regardless of the face’s orientation. The neural network would be trained to recognize partial faces, as well as different orientations, and then attempt to collect enough features to perform a match. This patent is titled “Detection of identity changes during facial recognition enrollment process.”

An eye-tracking patent application is also among those recently published from the company. Patently Apple writes in a separate article that the application published by the USPTO is the fourth just this year related to the company’s eye tracking system.

The new eye-tracking patent filing describes a “Head Mounted Display” device the company may launch in the future for augmented or virtual reality applications, and its use of biometrics to adjust the intensity of emitted light. If the user blinks more than usual, has an elevated heart rate, or is registered as a child, the technology described by Apple can decrease the intensity of the light.

The patent application also describes the use of a geometric analyzer running a machine learning regressor to determine eye tracking characteristics, including gaze direction.

Global e-dentity extends patent with new non-invasive modalities

Global e-dentity has been awarded a patent by the USPTO, a continuation of its multi-modal biometric and digital identity patent U.S. 10,135,822. The new patent cover additional non-invasive methods of validating the identity and health of individuals through wearables.

The addition of multiple biometric layers makes the system able to identify individuals with an error rate of only 1 in 7.5 billion, according to the announcement. The company says the technology can be used for authentication in ecommerce transactions with wearables like glasses. The announcement also says future glasses and other wearables will be able to identify individuals with biometric modalities including heart rate, voice, fingerprints, face, and skeletal or vascular systems with technology invented by Global e-dentity.

The patent is the third granted to the company by the USPTO.

Global e-dentity announced the development of an early COVID-19 detection technology earlier this year.

Behavioral biometrics could identify PlayStation 5 users

Sony has recently been granted a patent which may enable PlayStation 5 users to authenticate their identity for account access through the system’s DualSense controllers, SegmentNext writes.

The granted patent refers to “data indicative of characteristic actions by each user with a controller,” and the use of “telemetry data” to authenticate users.

SegmentNext also notes that Sony has patent filings suggesting a next-generation camera could identify all users within range at the same time.

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