Apple could still be working on sub-screen fingerprint technology

A newly revealed patent could mean that Apple is still working on fingerprint scanning technology that sits beneath the screen.

With the reveal of the iPhone X, the iPhone became pretty much all-screen (if you discount the ‘notch’) and so the fingerprint sensor had to go somewhere. 

As it turns out, it got dropped from the phone completely, but that doesn’t mean we’ve definitely seen the back of fingerprint sensors on Apple products.

There were rumors going around before the launch of the X that Apple was attempting to put the fingerprint sensor underneath the glass of the screen but struggled to do so due to the amount of space the technology needed.

Ultrasonic force sensor

Now it looks like Apple may have found a solution to that problem. The patent application is for an ultrasonic force sensor, which may sound like something from Star Wars, but is actually a touch screen technology that can register pressure sensitivity of touch.

Now this isn’t anything new – Apple’s 3D touch is pressure responsive. But the technology laid out in the patent achieves similar results while taking up much less space under the screen, potentially leaving space for the sub-screen fingerprint sensor to make an appearance in future iterations of the iPhone.

Of course, as this is just a patent application, there's no guarantee that this technology is going to see the light of day, but it's interesting to see that there could be a potential fix for the fingerprint problem when Face ID is proving such a divisive feature. 

Via Apple Insider

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.