The US Patent & Trademark Office has today published a new Touch ID related patent application from Apple, that covers the circuits and packaging for fingerprint sensors, PatentlyApple is reporting. The filing details techniques, including circuits and designs, which can receive information from fingerprint images, and which can be incorporated into devices using fingerprint recognition.
Apple notes that a fingerprint sensor can be disposed beneath a control button or display element, for fingerprint recognition and authentication while the device is being operated by a user. The invention basically covers the iPhone 5S Touch ID Home Button fingerprint scanner which Apple notes may apply to future products such as the iPad, iPod and personal computers such as the MacBook and iMac. Apple’s fingerprint sensor itself may utilize a grid of capacitive elements for capturing the fingerprint image, or an optical sensor or other suitable fingerprint imaging technology.
Apple’s patent FIG. 1 illustrated above shows us a conceptual drawing of a fingerprint recognition sensor included in a portion of an iPhone. An exploded view figure of a portion of the iPhone shows an assembly of parts disposed to form the fingerprint recognition sensor circuit and position of the sensor circuit below the push button/Home button.
The recessed shape may likewise be at least partially formed by a chamfer in the ground ring. In one embodiment, the button 104 can be made of one or more of the following materials, or equivalents thereof: aluminum oxide, glass or chemically treated glass, sapphire, a chemically treated compound having at least some characteristics thereof, or another compound having similar properties.
The lens 112 is disposed within a ground ring 114. In one embodiment, the ground ring can be used to shield electromagnetic effects, with the effect of providing capacitance isolation or other electromagnetic isolation.
The patent also suggests that the fingerprint recognition sensor circuit might work in combination or conjunction with elements which perform optical sensing, infrared sensing, or other sensing of the user’s fingerprint.