Apple has been in Talks with China's BOE Technology Group who has Patented Displays that recognize Fingerprint ID
In February Patently Apple posted a report titled "Beyond the 160 Million OLED Displays already Secured with Samsung, Apple is now in Talks with China's BOE." Today a new patent application from BOE was discovered that describes a display with integrated fingerprint authentication and oddly points directly at Apple's iPhone 5S as an example of the old way of using fingerprint ID. Is this one of the reasons why Apple is in talks with BOE?
BOE's patent background notes the following regarding the iPhone 5S:
"For the sake of safety, the fingerprint identification technology is generally used to realize user authentication in conventional personal portable electronic device. A display comprises a display region and a non-display region, and a conventional fingerprint identification region is disposed in the non-display region.
Correspondingly, a fingerprint sensor pattern is disposed below the fingerprint identification region. As an example, in a known electronic device (such as the smartphone iPhone 5S launched by Apple Inc.), an opening is formed on a cover plate which is configured for protecting the display panel. The opening is located within the non-display region of the cover plate and corresponds to the fingerprint identification region, and a sapphire glass covers the opening.
However, the design of an opening and the employment of sapphire glass result in a complex fabrication process, which increases the fabrication cost and decreases a size of the display region, thereby reducing the user experience.
Fingerprint ID in the Display
In describing BOE's patent FIG. 3 noted above they note that "during the fabricating process of the display employing the substrate the pixel array region of the substrate is in a display region of the display. Disposing the fingerprint sensor pattern in the pixel array region is equivalent to forming a fingerprint identification region in the display region.
The fingerprint identification region is still used for display and does not compromise the user's experience. When a finger slides in the fingerprint identification region, it is possible to realize fingerprint identification through the fingerprint sensor pattern.
It can be conceived that the number of the fingerprint sensor pattern may be more than one such as two, three or more, thus it is possible to identify a plurality of different fingers so as to improve personal information security.
Moreover, the fingerprint sensor pattern may be formed in any position in the pixel array region. In the case that the number of the fingerprint sensor pattern is plural, the patterns may be disposed in distinct positions, and the positions can be customized according to user's requirement.
The substrate in the embodiment can realize the identification of fingerprints sliding in the display region of the display, which reduces the fabricating cost, moreover, increases the usable area of the display since there is no need to design openings in the non-display region, thereby improving the display effect and user experience.
BOE Technology Group's patent application 20170147850 that was published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was originally filed back in September 2015.
A Few of Apple's latest patents on Touch ID under the Display
March 28, 2017: Apple Wins Patent for Ultrasonic Biometric Sensing allowing Touch ID to be under an iDevice Display
March 03, 2017: Apple's New Under-Display Touch ID Developed In-House will Reportedly Push iPhone Production to September
Feb. 28, 2017: Apple Granted a Patent for Touch ID beneath the iPhone Display
May 17, 2016: Apple Granted a Key Patent Supporting Touch ID beneath a Touch Display
Whether Apple will introduce Touch ID beneath the display for the iPhone 8 or future model is unknown at this time.