According to a recently discovered patent, Apple is thinking of bringing back its thought to be abandoned Touch ID for its ten-year-old iPhone. The document reveals how the technology of the Cupertino brand can still be quite unique. Probably, we'll see it coming back in the future. Are you ready to say goodbye to the much-hated notch?
More than a few users twisted their noses at the time when Apple presented to the world the iPhone X. For the first time in years, Apple had abandoned the habit of including a capacitive fingerprint reader in its devices with iPhone X, replacing it with an array of sensors specializing in 3D scanning of users' faces, called Face ID, contained in a large notch.
A recently unearthed patent shows that Apple never gave up on the idea of using biometric systems that can read fingerprints. Back in Q3 2016, at the time of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the Californian company requested the approval of the technology you can see in the image below.
As described in the document, the system called Methods of biometric imaging of input surfaces would allow any object placed on the display to be scanned by an acoustic system. The high-resolution image could then be used for biometric authentication on your smartphone, but not only that. According to the patent, a transducer would be able to convert electrical signals into mechanical energy or vice versa. The example in the picture shows just a fingerprint placed on a display.
The technology would allow not only the scanning of fingerprints but also of many other user behaviors. The mechanism would allow, for example, to recognize if the user puts the phone to their ear to answer a phone call or could be used to monitor the heartbeat and other vital signs.
Of course, we know very well how the story went. Apple shelved its fingerprint readers and decided to go all-in with Face ID. However, this does not mean that it is no longer working on this technology that we could see it coming in the future, perhaps with the iPhone of 2020.