Published patent shows detailed Apple plans for in-display fingerprint tech

A patent published today documents an incredibly detailed implementation of biometric fingerprint security that can be embedded in a display.

Following rumors that the iPhone 5S would include fingerprint technology, this patent was published today, and is titled “Finger sensor having pixel sensing circuitry for coupling electrodes and pixel sensing traces and related methods”. Despite the rather long-winded title, the tech is actually really interesting, and is credited to c-founder of AuthenTec Dale R Setlak, whose company was purchased by Apple for over $300 million last year.

Whilst is had been suggested that fingerprint tech was best suited to the home button of an iPhone/iPad, or the bezel, this technology allows the sensor to be stacked with, or embedded within a LCD display, so the sensor can become a means of input, working with the rest of the circuit to provide tactile feedback if necessary. The sensor can be rigid or flexible, making the implementation possibilities almost endless.


The tech uses pixel sensing traces, and a fingerprint sensor chip. On top of that is a dielectric substrate, insulating the traces and creating an area for your finger.

The sensor measures electrical flux. Following a closer study of the patent, I can safely tell you, the consumer, that rest is wizardry. The methodology of studying the actual fingerprint is incredibly complex, but you can look over it in more detail here if you wish.


The most impressive feature of the patent is the fact that the sensor, when not in use, can simply become part of the touchscreen display, which means that a device featuring fingerprint technology wouldn’t necessarily require a bezel/home button large enough to house the sensor, which would still allow Apple to makes its device form factors smaller and sleeker as required.

Would you be interested in fingerprint technology in an iDevice of the future? Leave your comments below!


Via: Apple Insider

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  • PearsonGarcia

    so now if someone steals your phone theyll also have to cut your finger off great LOL