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Apple awarded biometrics patents for under-display fingerprinting and self-calibrating VR helmets

Potential new Touch ID uses shortwave infrared imaging

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Apple has been awarded a patent for an under-display optical biometric fingerprint sensor for an electronic device by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (UPTO), Patently Apple reports.

The potential next-generation Touch ID system described in the ‘Shortwave infrared optical imaging through an electronic device display’ patent involves a light-emitting element and a sensor receiving surface reflections. The patent and accompanying drawings suggest the use of ‘shortwave infrared light,’ possibly within an illuminated sensing area with increased inter-pixel transmittance, for a stronger signal.

The initial touch of the surface could be sensed by any type of touch sensor. Patently Apple also notes that the fingerprint can in theory be captured whether the finger is stationary or moving, as in a swipe motion.

In addition to fingerprints, the sensor could be used for vein biometrics, to determine the user’s blood oxygenation level, pulse, or the presence of a glove, wet or dry finger.

The application was filed in September, 2018.

Another patent for an under-display optical fingerprint system utilizing a light-emitting layer from the company was recently published.

Biometric calibration for AR/VR helmets

The USPTO granted more than 60 patents to Apple this week, another of which describes a calibrating a head-mounted device (HMD) to improve the delivery of AR/VR content, according to another Patently Apple article.

The publication says augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality are increasingly popular for learning applications, gaming, content creation and more, but HMDs tend to be one-size fits all.

Apple’s patent for a “Method and device for improved interpupillary distance measurement” suggests the possible use of “interpupillary distance” (IDP) as a biometric for recalling a user profile with different types of HMDs that have one or more processors, non-transitory memory, and sensors for imaging and depth measurement. The account associated with the IPD could also tailor the field of view to the user.

The patent document also describes the HMD taking a kind of selfie to perform facial recognition in order to identify the user, and calibrate accordingly.

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