Apple granted a patent for under-display optical imaging fingerprint sensor

Apple's trying to bring an under-display Touch ID optical sensor while Qualcomm just announced a 2-finger authentication ultrasonic sensor.

In 2019, we've already seen the under-screen fingerprint in some smartphones mostly from Chinese smartphone makers. And later, even Samsung also used a first-gen under-screen fingerprint technology from Qualcomm on its latest flagships, Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus, but there's just different from most phone makers use an optical sensor while Qualcomm has brought a different route with its ultrasonic sensor.

There may be some truth to the report calling for an iPhone with an under-display Touch ID in 2020 as Apple just earned a patent for an optical imaging system that could be used in potential iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and more for under-display biometrics.

Patently Apple reported that, based on the company's March 2019 patent application for this invention, Apple was formally granted the patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Touch ID Patent

If Apple wants to exploit this patent in future products, expect a Touch ID of the next generation to be used in a variety of devices, including Apple Watch, based on under-display optical imaging sensors. In reality, in the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro, which uses a Touch ID optical imaging sensor, the company is already using this technology.

Macbook Pro 16-inch

Until now, Android manufacturers are still relying on ultrasonic sensors and avoid to adapt to Apple's biometric Face ID program. While Face ID-enabled iPhones have been a reality for more than two years now, it would seem that Apple has continued to work on both Face ID and Touch ID technologies.

Previously at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019, Qualcomm has announced “3D Sonic Max,” a new in-display fingerprint sensor. It's expected to see in many smartphones in 2020. And earlier this month, there're even other reports suggesting that Apple could use this new ultrasonic sensor technology to bring back Touch ID as an under-display fingerprint scanner on an iPhone in 2020.

3D Sonic Max

Finally, we can't tell whether or not Apple is going to ditch its Face ID and use under-screen Touch ID or even use both in the next iPhones.