On Tuesday (14th February) Apple submitted the patent in US Patent Trademark Office. The patent number is 9570002. It says that patent is for “interactive display panel with IR codes.” It offers a touch display that comes with micro-LED sensing technology. The company will get rid of the active matrix on available on most of the devices. Apple got the IP reassigned from LuxVue.
It is a small business that specializes in highly efficient and effective micro-LEDs. Apple purchased the company in 2014. Apart from the Apple fingerprint reader, Apple will also replace the large capacitive sensor components. Instead, it will place the infra-red light emitter and sensors. The patent also shows a design for touch panels and fingerprint sensors with similar hardware.
Details about Apple fingerprint reader technology
The present Apple fingerprint sensor needs a capacitive drive ring to be in contact with user’s finger during any operation. For a complete clean display surface, the company needs to integrate or completely remove the drive ring from the cover glass. There are chances that Apple might ditch the Touch ID. The touch screen might be capable of acting as an input device. The Apple fingerprint reader will save the space for design flexibility. Getting a working technology for fingerprint reader is difficult because the fingerprint readings must be extremely accurate.
LuxVue believes that they have solved the puzzle because they can use the micro-LEDs instead of capacitive touch arrays. Considering the “interactive pixels” that the IR emitting and sensing diode circuitry, it can offer a very high-resolution panel. Depending on the sensing component, the circuit can act as the traditional ambient light sensor to brighten up or dim the displays.
It can also perform the proximity detection tasks for shutting off the touch input during the phone calls. There might be more advanced features like touch detection and determine the surface profile of the target. During any operation, the display that contains interactive pixels, scan for user’s fingerprints.
Considering the security issues, the patent also notes certain areas of the screen include the sections which have a higher density of interactive pixels and supporting chips. More emitting and sensing circuits mean the greater pixel densities. It translates into better fingerprint readings. The rumor about Touch ID and the iPhone 8 (which is also referred as the iPhone X) has been circulating for quite some time. But Apple is yet to shed any clear light on what the device will contain.