Apple has patented a new vision system assembly framework that is ostensibly designed to make Face ID more consistent. To that end, the modules in the patented system would be positioned in such a way as to make sure that they can capture an accurate image of the user’s face (and their biometric features) whenever they take a selfie.
The patent itself describes a bracket assembly that would house all of the components of the vision system, including any camera modules and any elements that project light. Those modules would then be set at a fixed distance from one another, and held in place to ensure each module is always in the same relative position to the others. That layout would be determined prior to assembly, and would presumably be set to ensure optimum Face ID performance at different angles and distances.
The entire system would be placed beneath a transparent cover, and include an alignment module to ensure that it will sit in the right spot when deployed in an actual iPhone. Apple has previously received patents for a Face ID system that would be able to identify partial faces, and another for a system that would use heat maps to identify people wearing masks. Apple has also filed a patent application for an enhanced version of Face ID that would supplement facial recognition with vein biometrics.
The vision system assembly is one of 57 new Apple patents awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Other highlights include an optical encoder for the Apple Watch, and a new technique for displaying 3D objects in Augmented Reality.
Apple is currently facing a lawsuit from CPC Patent Technologies, which alleges that Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID systems violate some patents that CPC acquired in 2019. CPC has not announced any plans to use the technology in its own products, and seems to have acquired the patents with the intention of going to court.
Source: Patently Apple