Apple has patented a new authentication solution for smartphones that would see a range of micro-LEDs used for fingerprint recognition rather than a dedicated sensor.
As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,570,002 details a system using an "Interactive display panel with IR diodes".
The patented system envisions touch panels that are embedded into certain sections of the screen.
Apple has already included a capacitive drive ring in the home button to power the Touch ID which is used to authenticate the user’s identity.
The patent details: “A display panel comprising: a display substrate having a display region; a row of interactive pixels within the display region, each interactive pixel comprising an infrared emitting light emitting diode (IR emitting LED) and a sensing infrared diode (sensing IR diode); a row of interactive microchips within the display region and adjacent to the row of interactive pixels.”
The technology could be related to display technology inherited from LuxVue, a Micro LED company Apple acquired in May 2014.
Earlier this year, analysts said the iPhone 8 could have an ‘under-panel’, optical fingerprint sensor, and iris recognition.