2020 iPhone 12 concept
Picked up by PatentlyApple, Apple has just won a patent which explains how its existing optical fingerprint reader technology (already used in the new 16-inch MacBook Pro) can tweaked to operate under a display. In fact, Apple is pretty blunt about this writing in the patent:
“An optical image sensor is carried by the housing under the display. The optical image sensor senses biometric image data associated with a user, such as, for example, data representative of a biometric image of the fingerprint patterns of the user’s finger. The controller may perform an authentication function by matching the acquired biometric image data to the stored biometric template data stored in the memory.”
Apple also illustrates the patent using a smartphone form factor.
Apple’s in-display patent application using existing 16-inch MacBook Pro technology and reworks it … [+]
Gordon’s Top Apple Daily Deals:
So could all this just be future looking tech, as in many patents? It seems unlikely.
First, this is a simple adaption of existing real-world tech. Second, Apple has been furiously filing in-display Touch ID patents for over an year. Third, Bloomberg is just the latest in a long line of high profile sources stating Apple will reintegrate Touch ID into the iPhone 12 by fitting it under the screen.
Why would Apple need this when it already has Face ID? Facial recognition and fingerprint recognition have clear pros and cons (You need to look at it Vs you don’t; You can use it with gloves on Vs you can’t, etc etc) but their greatest strength is when used together. This super strength security is not necessary at all times but it is helpful at crucial moments, such as in banking apps. Apple also has plans to turn iPhones into a form of Digital ID, and here security needs to be rock solid.
All of which would simply be the icing on the cake for an iPhone which we already know will feature an upgraded design, 120Hz ProMotion displays, some incredible 3D camera tricks and, potentially, the end of the Lightning port.
So while the iPhone 11 series already impresses, it looks like 2020 will be the year Apple really takes its smartphones to a new level. Now the big question is will Apple really release SIX models?
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