The US Patent and Trademark Office has today published a new Apple patent relating to multimode fingerprint scanning, designed specifically for financial transactions, PatentlyApple is reporting. Interestingly, Apple’s granted patent also indicates that the financial system component supports NFC, a technology that is rapidly becoming the industry standard.
According to Apple, their new fingerprint scanner may have a two-dimensional array of sensor electrodes. It may operate the in a stationary finger mode, designed for the Home Button as it is today, or it may operate in a moving finger mode in which all of the two-dimensional sensors in the array will capture a fingerprint while the user is swiping the finger across the fingerprint reader. Apple notes that the moving finger mode may be used when performing sensitive operations such as financial transactions.
“The fingerprint sensor may be activated when a proximity sensor detects the presence of a finger. Different actions may be taken by the device in response to detection of different fingerprints. For example, the device may launch a first software application when a first fingerprint is detected and may launch a second software application when a second fingerprint is detected.
[…] a fingerprint may be constructed from multiple fingerprint data captures each of which involves use of all of the sensors in a two-dimensional array of sensors in the fingerprint reader while operating the fingerprint reader operating in a moving finger mode”.
Apple’s patent was originally filed in Q3 2011 and published today by USPTO.