Next-Gen Under-the-Display Touch ID could use an Array of Pin Hole Cameras to Capture Biometric Data
In April Apple was granted for a next-gen Touch ID invention wherein the user could touch any part of a device display and not be limited to a button as was the case in the first generation of Touch ID. In late March a patent application from Apple once again showed that their Touch ID engineering team was working on yet another under display scanning methodology for possible use of the next generation of Touch ID. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that once again advances their research into a future version of Touch ID that uses the foundation of the invention revealed in March and yet presents another methodology of obtaining fingerprint biometrics via pin hole cameras under the display. Interestingly the patent illustrates photos of fingerprints taken from a "prototype device" using this next-gen version of Touch ID.
Touch ID under a Display using Pin Hole Cameras & more
Apple's invention relates to electronic devices that may include an optical image sensor and a pin hole array mask layer above the optical image sensor. The electronic device may also include a display layer above the pin hole array mask layer that includes a plurality of spaced apart display pixels, and at least one light source laterally adjacent the optical image sensor and capable of directing light into a user's finger when adjacent the optical image sensor.
The electronic device may also include a transparent cover layer above the display layer defining a finger placement surface capable of receiving a user's finger adjacent thereto. The at least one light source may be laterally adjacent the transparent cover layer so that light from the at least one light source is directed into the user's finger when adjacent the transparent cover layer, for example.
The pin hole array mask layer may have at least one light opening therein. The at least one light source may be positioned below the pin hole array mask layer and aligned with the at least one light opening, for example.
The electronic device may further include a device housing carrying the optical image sensor, the pin hole array mask layer, the display layer, and the at least one light source. The at least one light source may include a plurality of light sources carried adjacent a periphery of the device housing, for example.
The at least one light source may include at least one of a visible light source, an infrared light source, and an ultraviolet light source, for example. The optical image sensor, pin hole array mask layer, and finger placement surface may be configured to define overlapping areas at the finger placement surface, and spaced apart areas at the optical image sensor.
The electronic device may also include a flexible circuit substrate carrying the optical image sensor. The electronic device may further include an optically transparent body between the optical image sensor and the pin hole array mask layer, for example.
The electronic device may include an optically clear adhesive layer above the optical image sensor. The optical image sensor may be capable of performing at least one of an authentication function, a spoof detection function, and a vital sign measurement function, for example.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a plan view of a smartphone; FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of the smartphone of FIG. 1. As with all patents, the invention could also apply to the iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook/Pro which currently uses Touch ID in the Touch Bar.
Apple's patent FIG. 35 above is another schematic block diagram of a smartphone.
The invention includes an optical image sensor for sensing a biometric of a user, such as, for example, an image of the fingerprint patterns of the user's finger under the display.
The light source directs light into the user's finger and may direct light for the optical image sensor. For example, different LEDs of the display may allow dynamic changing of and/or more flexibility with respect to the wavelengths of the light and the angle of illumination.
A visible light source or invisible light source (e.g., infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV)), and/or another type of light source may be used, or a combination of light sources may be used. However, IR light may penetrate deeper within a user's finger compared to other colors of light, for example, blue-colored light.
Apple's patent FIG. 23 below illustrates a finger biometric sensor #1130 which may be carried by the electronic device.
Light sources #1141a-1141n inject light into the user's finger #1140. The light sources may be selectively operable at different wavelengths, for example. At least some of the light sources are adjacent the back surface #1148 of the dielectric layer #1146. In some embodiments, there may be a single light source, which may be movable along the back surface of the dielectric layer #1146.
Image sensors #1131a-1131n, for example, in the form of pin hole cameras, are adjacent a back surface of the dielectric layer defining a plurality of overlapping target areas directed toward the user's finger.
The image sensors 1131a-1131m may each be in the form of an optical image sensor may be for sensing a finger biometric of a user, such as, for example, an image of the fingerprint patterns of the user's finger.
Apple's patent FIG. 14 above is a captured image at a relatively low angle using a front illuminated prototype device; FIG. 16a is a captured image at a relatively high angle using the front illuminated prototype device; and FIG. 31A IS a is a finger image taken using blue light at an angle of 60.degree.
Apple concludes their patent application by noting that "Practicing the present invention requires that collecting, transferring, storing, or analyzing user data, including personal information, will comply with established privacy policies and practices. In particular, such entities should implement and consistently use privacy policies and practices that are generally recognized as meeting or exceeding industry or governmental requirements for maintaining personal information data private and secure, including the use of data encryption and security methods that meets or exceeds industry or government standards. Personal information from users should not be shared or sold outside of legitimate and reasonable uses. Further, such collection should occur only after receiving the informed consent of the users. Additionally, such entities would take any needed steps for safeguarding and securing access to such personal information data and ensuring that others with access to the personal information data adhere to their privacy policies and procedures. Further, such entities can subject themselves to evaluation by third parties to certify their adherence to widely accepted privacy policies and practices.
The present disclosure also contemplates the selective blocking of access to, or use of, personal information data, including biometric data. Hardware and/or software elements disclosed herein can be configured to prevent or block access to such personal information data. Optionally allowing users to bypass biometric authentication steps by providing secure information such as passwords, personal identification numbers (PINS), touch gestures, or other authentication methods, alone or in combination, is well known to those of skill in the art. Users can further select to remove, disable, or restrict access to certain health-related applications collecting users' personal health or fitness data."
Apple's patent application 20190147213 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was originally filed back in Q4 2018. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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