Further evidence has emerged of Apple’s interest in integrating its Touch ID fingerprint authentication system into the display of the next iPhone, with the publication of a recent patent application detailing a acoustic imaging technology.
Basically, the idea is that sound waves are bounced off of a finger to produce a fingerprint image. The pulses could be transmitted through substrates in a device’s cover glass or even in its bezel covering. The system would then analyze how those sound waves are reflected, producing a detailed picture of the ridges and depressions that form a fingerprint.
Patently Apple notes that the system offers applications across a range of devices, from wearables to automotive interfaces, while AppleInsider speculates about its potential for implementation in this year’s iPhone. Apple certainly appears to be pursuing an in-display fingerprint sensor, but the technological basis of it is anyone’s guess – another recent patent described a similar system in which infrared light, instead of sound waves, is bounced off of the user’s finger.
At the same time, there is speculation that Apple is also working to incorporate facial recognition into its next iPhone, and maybe even iris scanning, as Samsung is doing with its next Galaxy device. What seems fairly certain at this point is that Apple is trying to put Touch ID into the display, and that it’s exploring multimodal biometrics, too.