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11-21-2013, 10:36 PM #1
Apple Files a Patent for the Touch ID Sensor found in the iPhone 5S
The US Patent and Trademark Office recently published an Apple patent application which covers the electronic packaging and sapphire lens of the company’s new Touch ID fingerprint sensors. The patent, entitled “Capacitive Sensor Packaging,” mirrors the implementation found in Apple’s latest flagship handset. The packaging includes a “responsive element” that detects the proximity of a user’s fingerprint, the stainless steel ring that surrounds the iPhone 5S home button, and a sensor cover made of an “an anisotropic dielectric material, for example sapphire.”
The Touch ID’s aesthetic treatments have been included as well, as the patent details “an ink assembly… printed on the lens” that “has the effect that the otherwise-translucent button can be made opaque, so the elements of the fingerprint recognition sensor are not immediately visible to the user." Other methods of proximity detection such as optical or infrared sensing are also covered. The filing goes as far as predicting that new methods like these might be needed in the future because requiring a user to place their finger within a specific area limits “the design flexibility for the fingerprint recognition sensor.”
The patent interesting enough leaves open the possibility of embedding the sensor behind a “display element.” This marks the second mention this year of an in-display fingerprint sensor, after a separate patent filing surfaced previously detailing a method of embedding a fingerprint sensor within an LCD.
The particular application was filed on March 14 and credits the following nine as inventors: Benjamin J. Pope, Shawn Arnold, Barry J. Corlett, Terry L. Gilton, Syed Husaini, Steven Webster, Scott A. Myers, Matthew D. Hill, and Benjamin B. Lyon.
Source: USPTO via AppleInsider
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11-24-2013, 04:56 PM #2
Apple's got a lot of Benjamins, eh?