Apple issued patent for on-screen fingerprint sensor
19 May 2017 17:52 GMT

Tech giant Apple has been awarded a patent for a new placement of its TouchID fingerprint sensor - built into the touch display.

The patent, issued this week, outlines a concept where a biometric can be read during normal interaction with the touch screen by removing the current dedicated sensor and instead layer it into the screen itself.

The patent titled, “Electronic device including finger biometric sensor including transparent conductive blocking areas carried by a touch display and related methods,” was originally filed in Jan. 2015.

Its inventor is Dale Setlak, inventor of the original TouchID sensor and co-founder of the pioneering biometric company, Authentec.

The plan is for the screen to feature conductive blocking areas between the finger biometric sensing layer and at least one transparent conductive layer of the touch display, which may be selectively switchable between blocking and reading states.

Speculation has been mounting in tech media that the phone maker is struggling to create an “in-screen” sensor as was envisaged for the iPhone 8.

Some analysts have even said that the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is going away, as Apple is looking to add face recognition features to the new iPhone.

A patent revealed in March details a Biometric sensing device with discrete ultrasonic transducers that would employ sound waves to capture biometric data such as a fingerprint image.