Under-display camera for both Face ID and Touch ID biometrics patented by Apple
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple a new patent for an under-display camera working with both Face ID and/or Touch ID biometrics, depending on where it is positioned.
The document was spotted by Patently Apple and describes a technology that enables an optical imaging array to be positioned behind a display and then oriented to receive light transmitted through the display.
According to the patent numbered 11,073,712, the new technology can be potentially utilized for a variety of purposes, including biometric imaging for fingerprints and irises, as well as facial recognition.
The novel optical imaging array prototype also paves the way for electronic devices that can incorporate various operational and structural components, such as under-display cameras.
The approval of the new patent by USPTO comes days after predictions from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman that Face ID would come to all Apple devices within the next two years.
Writing in the subscriber section of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said while fingerprint biometrics and Touch ID remain an important part of the Apple ecosystem, Face ID will eventually replace the technology, according to MacRumors.
“The facial recognition sensor gives Apple two central features: security and augmented reality. Touch ID, more convenient or not, only provides the former,” Gurman explained.
Because of this, the Bloomberg journalist believes face biometrics-powered authentication will also eventually come to lower-end Apple devices like the iPhone SE.
An under-display camera would also eliminate the need for a bezel, and thus deliver a better screen-focussed experience.
Apple has been working on under-display biometric technologies for a while now, with the company filing various patents in the last few months.