Apple may have been focusing more on Face ID off late though that does not mean it has given up on Touch ID entirely. On the contrary, the US Patents and Trademark Office has granted the Cupertino giant a new patent for a new generation of Touch ID feature where the sensor would be placed within the display itself.
According to what Patently Apple mentioned, the sensor would be placed within the front display. However, the biggest differentiator here would be the use of shortwave infrared light, something that got mentioned in the patent documents dozens of times.
Also, from the image that the patent documents revealed, there are going to be several components that would make up the new gen Touch ID system. Prime among them would be of course the new shortwave infrared light emitting system whose tasks will be to emit the light through the display.
Then there is going to be a photosensitive layer designed to receive the reflection of the portion of the user’s finger in contact with the display. In all, there are going to be six different layers integrated underneath the display. The processor would be making up the bottom-most layer where it is going to be decided if there is a match or otherwise. Apple had first applied for the patent in 2019.
Such a feature will negate the use of Touch ID accommodated within the physical Power or Home button, as can be seen in a few recent Apple devices such as the iPhone SE 2020 or the latest iPad. The flagship iPhone devices continue to feature Face ID though.
All of this makes it interesting to see if Apple would incorporate the new shortwave infrared based Touch ID in a future flagship iPhone device. Or if this is meant to be used on future iPad devices and budget iPhone variants.