According to a report written by Joanna Stern and published in The Wall Street Journal, Apple is reportedly working on developing an in-display optical fingerprint technology for the upcoming iPhone 13. This technology would feature alongside a security option – the Face ID – as an alternative biometric option. Stern wrote about this in a report that talked about the features present in Samsung Galaxy S21 that could find their way into the next-generation iPhones.
Many reputed names like tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman had earlier hinted at Apple incorporating an in-display Touch ID in the upcoming iPhone 13 series. Now, the emergence of these new articles on The Wall Street Journal has added more weight to the rumors. A secondary Touch ID option will prove to be highly effective in situations where Face ID doesn’t work that well. When you are wearing a mask or a pair of sunglasses, you could use the fingerprint sensor instead of the Face ID.
Stern states that she first knew about Apple developing an in-display fingerprint sensor from a former employee of the company. The ex-employee stated that Apple was working around with devices like optical sensors to come up with viable in-screen fingerprint technology. The company reportedly believes that a robust fingerprint technology would be more reliable than any kind of ultrasonic solution.
In-Display Optical Fingerprint Sensors operate on the strength of the energy derived from light. When this technology is implemented in Android phones, the display screen brightens up with a fingerprint icon. One needs to place a finger on this icon to emit light. The camera takes an impression of the user’s finger and stores it in the phone’s internal memory.
The ultrasonic fingerprint technology is relatively new and puts together a 3D map of a fingerprint with the help of small sound waves. This technology, therefore, is a more refined version of the traditional fingerprint sensor technology. Even when the hands of a user are soiled or wet, they should not face any difficulty while trying to unlock their phone using this technology. As is the case with any high-end technology, the ultrasonic fingerprint sensing technology is quite costly.
The Touch ID buttons found on many Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and many others happen to be capacitive. Capacitive sensors build a fingerprint data map with the help of a bunch of small-sized capacitors. It’s hard to deceive a technology of this kind as it doesn’t utilize a straight fingerprint image.
These days, optical-capacitive hybrid sensors are also available in the market. Therefore, if Apple plans to go ahead with an optical solution, the Touch ID function would be, perhaps, more secure than some of the optical sensors that are opted by Android manufacturers. There are slim chances of Apple going for a regular optical sensor. If it opts for an optical-capacitive hybrid, it would result in an amalgamation of the scanning benefits offered by an optical sensor and the security features provided by a capacitive sensor.