Apple has been granted a patent which consists of a microLED based display that can detect fingerprints without needing any of the conventional sensors. The patent is titled “Interactive display panel with IR diodes.”
This is in line with older reports which suggested that the iPhone 8 will come with an iris scanner and a home button embedded within the display. This particular technology comes from LuxVue, a microLED display manufacturing company that was acquired by Apple back in 2014. The intellectual property of LuxVue has been reassigned to Apple as per the latest documents on the USPTO database.
Speaking more about the new technology here, well, the microLED technology replaces the active matrix displays that we see on current-gen devices, so this could be a big shift for Apple. This particular technology also opens up the possibility of bringing fingerprint sensing to the entirety of the display rather than just one area.
The tech uses smaller infrared light sensors and emitters in place of the conventional capacitive sensors. The subsequent “interactive pixel” formation can be focused on just one area to offer a designated space for fingerprint scanning. However, the technology also allows these pixels to be evenly spread out, thus offering the ability to scan your imprints in more than one area of the display.
The interactive pixels will also be capable of working as a proximity and ambient light sensor. The fingerprint scanning will work by beaming an infrared light onto the user’s finger and then back onto the sensors.
It’s too early in the day to tell if Apple will actually go ahead with this technology, but the market expects the company to make some giant strides with its 10th year anniversary iPhone. The presence of an iris scanner is still in doubt, especially given the kind of security loopholes it might open up.