Features Rumours

Could next year’s iPhone include an in-screen fingerprint scanner?

Check out this sneaky little leak!

As the new year is almost here, it’s time to ask one all-important question. What on earth can we expect from some of the biggest smartphone manufacturers?

We might not be able to see into the future but, thanks to handy leaked documents, we can take more than a stab in the dark. One of the most exciting rumours is that 2019 iPhone releases will have a brand new in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Since the dawn of the iPhone X (and further X models), Apple has focused its attention mainly on facial recognition technology (know to you and me as Face ID). You might say that it’s the star of the show. However, things could be about to change. According to a leaked patent, the company may be adding to its repertoire of security features soon enough.

The intriguing document published on Patently Apple shows a patent first filed back in January this year. It suggests that we could see an in-screen fingerprint scanner (very similar to its Touch ID counterpart) on the next line of iPhone devices. That means that, in the rare cases that the facial recognition software fails, users will be able to open their device by simply tapping the screen. Voilà!

It’s certainly a step in the right direction. This type of forward-thinking security software is still quite new, although some high-end flagship devices, such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, already have it. Including the scanner beneath the screen, rather than within the home button, allows for an all-screen design as well as boosting the safety of the phone.

“Techniques for implementing biometric authentication using electronic devices are generally cumbersome,” reads a statement from Apple. “For example, some existing techniques, such as those directed to facial recognition, require a user to almost perfectly align a biometric feature in a same manner during both enrolment and each iteration of authentication.”

“Deviation from the alignment of the biometric feature often results in a false negative result,” continues the statement from Apple. “As a result, a user is, optionally, required to unnecessarily perform multiple iterations of biometric authentication, or is, optionally, discouraged from using the biometric.”

Despite the fact that this leak clearly shows the in-screen scanner as part of a new design, we can’t yet be 100% sure that Apple will use it. The patent could be a red herring or simply an idea the developers have considered but not yet settled on. Sadly, since the new iPhone devices won’t be released until late 2019, we will have to wait a while to find out.

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