US Patent and Trademark Office recently released a list of 56 patents granted to Apple Inc including technologies like edge to edge display, Touch ID that is placed under the touchscreen and a portable 3D scanner, reported Patently Apple .
With the iPhone 8 still in development stage, there remains a good chance that the Cupertino tech giant will incorporate these two screen-related technologies in its much-awaited smartphone. As Samsung reaped good profits with its almost bezel-less Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in Q4, Apple too might walk a similar path, and even try to go the extra mile.
The edge to edge display patent document talks about making a touch panel with more than one curved edges and to cover the non-interactive area of the said device. The patent figure shoes a touch display with two curved ends, supposedly made out of a flexible substrate. This can for screens edges to be wrapped around the back of the device, covering the otherwise non-touch real estate present on the phone.
The second technology, Touch ID under the display, talks of a biometric sensor integrated with the touchscreen itself. This eliminates the need for a separate button for registering and reading fingerprints. Apple maintained in the patent that this technology can be utilised in iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, present versions of which come equipped with a fingerprint sensor.
The new Touch ID uses an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is taken to be far more accurate than the conventional capacitive one in practice now.
However, just like the iPhone 8, even these technologies are in their nascent stage and mostly untested for practical uses.
The patent document for the 3D mapping system, as seen on the tech blog, shows a depth mapping system in the form of a portable Kinect device, connected to a computer or smart TV. The 3D mapping engine in the device scans the objects in its region of interest, relays the sequence of frames containing the depth data to the computer, which then processes and extracts information from the input. As per the document, this allows users to interact with content on a computer or television screen in a more immersive manner.