In the pandemic, Apple annoyed the owners of its current iPhones: Face ID simply didn’t work with a mask. There is now a simplified unlocking function for Apple Watch owners. But it only works in less sensitive areas. Owners of older or cheaper iPhones with Touch ID fingerprint sensors had a clear advantage
Face and fingers, individually or in combination
It would be clever if Apple could simply combine Touch ID and Face ID. This could either be done alternatively (e.g. in the pandemic) or in cooperation to further increase the security of the devices. It has been rumored for several years that Apple is working on such an idea. Now the company has been granted a patent application that fits well with such a project.
Screen captures images at the same time
In the patent specification it goes a special image sensor, which is integrated directly into the screen instead of separating it from the display, as we are used to with iPhones. The “electronic device screen with built-in image capture through the screen” would not only save space, but also serve, according to the application, to read fingerprints, as is currently the case in the home button of the iPhone SE, for example. It would also be conceivable to use this image sensor for other applications, including face recognition (although other components such as an infrared projector are missing).
Is the image quality sufficient?
A screen with an integrated Face ID would also be interesting for Macs that currently lack the necessary True Depth module. According to reports, Apple is planning to install the technology in the Mac in the coming years, but currently seems to be facing problems – including space, since the MacBook screens are thinner than an iPhone. So far, methods of achieving high image quality through the screen are still in their infancy. In some cases, ultrasonic sensors are used to record fingerprints and not optical methods.