Apple Has Patented An Optical-Fiber Under Display Touch ID

Under display touch ID sensor
Representative image by Manik Berry/Fossbytes

Apple has officially secured a patent for an optical-fiber under-display Touch ID sensor. While this may or may not show up in a future iPhone, the patent has multiple applications and Apple can use it in more than one way.

The patent details a design where optical-fiber cables are laid out behind the display. These cables can capture biometric data faster than conventional sensors. So the resulting under-display Touch ID sensor could be faster and possibly more responsive.

Why would Apple patent under-display Touch ID?

Apple patents under-display Touch ID sensor
Image: Patently Apple

Apple’s patent doesn’t directly mention the sensor’s use as an under-display Touch ID. According to Patently Apple, it could be used to capture a 2D or 3D image of an object or user that is close to the display. This image could be a fingerprint, a face, or even the surrounding scene.

However, Apple’s patent also shows that the module is placed under the display. So it could be probably used as the next-generation Touch ID sensor. While Touch ID is still fast, it is behind Face ID, and this technology could make it faster as well as more secure.

Analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo have predicted the arrival of an upgraded fingerprint sensor on the iPhone for a long time. Apple could not only incorporate it on the iPhone, but also a redesigned iPad. In the iPhone lineup too, if the company decides to redesign the SE lineup, this under-display Touch ID could be the highlight.

Analysts are also predicting that Apple plans to implement an under-display Face ID module by 2026. What do you think about Touch ID receiving an upgrade? Let us know in the comments.

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