New patent reveals rumored iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor could be built into the display


According to rumors, iPhone 5S will come with a fingerprint sensor, which will be the key differentiator from the iPhone 5.

It has been widely speculated that the fingerprint sensor will be part of the Home button, which will reportedly be touch sensitive and covered with sapphire crystal.

But it looks like that’s not the only solution Apple is working on. A new patent application published by the The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, reveals that Apple is also working on a solution, which involves including the fingerprint sensor in the display.

The patent describes a technology in which a sensor is used to trace a person’s finger and fingerprint and determine, based on that, if they have proper credentials. Apple’s patent application doesn’t go as far as including the security features that might come with it on the software side, but it’s clear what the technology is designed to do. [..]

[..] Apple’s technology is slightly different than those embodiments. Rather than use an attached hardware sensor, like most PCs do, Apple’s patent application allows users to place their fingers on a touch display. The company’s technology then analyzes the finger on a pixel-by-pixel basis to determine if it’s a match with the owner’s.

So it is quite possible that in the future, we will be able to unlock our iOS devices by simply swiping on the display, and the fingerprint sensor doing its magic in the background to ensure we don’t have to enter the passcode.

Interestingly, the redesigned Lock screen in iOS 7 seems to be a step in that direction as it allows you to unlock the device by swiping anywhere on the screen instead of swiping on the iconic “slide to unlock” slide button.

We’ve been a little apprehensive of fingerprint sensors in iOS devices, based on our experience with such sensors in laptops, so let’s hope that Apple’s comes up with a solution that just works, and doesn’t end up annoying us.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[Patently Apple via CNET]

Like this post? Share it!

  • Alan

    Would love to see the end of the password/passcode era.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    it’s just another way to establish social-communism the world over. (filing finger prints for everyone with a iphone just like we all were committing criminal offence) i wonder who is designing this technological devices @ apple these days? (we need to ensure the price tag will be reduced accordingly to make them pay for scanning and filing personal-sensitive information and for allegedly breaking the data protection act in UK , and many other law system in Europe) take care, marc

    • Shawn Li

      This is ridiculous, you all are just paranoid

      • Keoni

        This is expected on a “hacks” website/forum. We are usually the ones that are stealing the very information we are giving them. If we know WE can get to it, who else would you trust? Muahahaha….I don’t trust any of you. Lol.

  • Lost in a poll of poop

    I can already see the gov computers smoking like hell trying to run all are finger prints

  • andrea

    just another way to spy….all our fingerprints will go somewhere and soon they will stole everything from us….

    • Jauhari


    • Keoni

      We all probably already have our fingerprints in their database, I faintly remember visiting the police station as a “field trip” when I was little, for “fun” and to “show us one of their common procedures”…..they took at least my thumbprint :). Oh well, I’m still waiting for the police to come knocking on my door for as many times as I told Siri, “I need to hide a body”, to prove to my friends that Siri can have a sense of humor.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    @shawn_li:disqus we might be a little paranoid these days in EU (considering we have a social-communist premier in germany and ,italy following the route of albania these days) however, the finger prints scanner integrated in the display and in any device (not a separate peripheral) will not be eligible and will not qualify for CE (communite europenne) compliancy then, iphone 5S will not enter the EU consumer market. take care, marc