iPhone 8 May Replace Touch ID With Acoustic Imaging, Hints Recent Patent

iPhone 8 will not arrive before September, but leaks are arriving every day. The latest leak sheds some light on the rumoured wireless charging technology, and a new patent suggests how the iPhone 8 will embed fingerprint scanning technology without a Touch ID sensor.

iPhone 8 May Replace Touch ID With Acoustic Imaging, Hints Recent Patent

Apple has been granted a new patent titled ‘Acoustic Imaging System Architecture’ that describes how the company plans to embed sound imaging for fingerprint reading through the display. In the ‘detailed description’ paragraph, the patent explains how this new tech will work as a fingerprint reader on the display. “In many examples, the acoustic imaging system is configured to resolve an image of a user’s fingerprint when the user touches the display. The acoustic imaging system operates by generating acoustic waves (or pulses) that propagate through an external surface of the display and thereafter monitoring reflections, attenuations, and/or diffractions to those acoustic waves caused by the user’s fingerprint,” it reads.

The advantage is that the imaging technology allows for flexibility on where it can be integrated on the phone, and is not constrained to a specific material. Plus, acoustic imaging can also read ear prints and hand prints as well, expanding ways on how it can be used on an iPhone. For example, the iPhone in the future could switch to speaker mode automatically as it detects the earplugs being removed from the ears and vice versa.

With the iPhone 8 tipped to sport an all-glass display, an alternate to the dedicated Touch ID sensor is imminent. It has been reported to be replaced by optical fingerprint sensors, an on-screen capacitive sensor, or even facial recognition, but all of this is based on speculation and analysts’ prediction. This patent, although very timely, doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will embed acoustic imaging in the iPhone 8. It could very well wait it out for the next year’s release.

A separate report from Reuters also sheds light on wireless technology, claiming that all is not yet lost. Apple joined the Wireless Consortium last week, and many started speculating that the iPhone 8 could also come with a dedicated charging pad, and not with the earlier rumoured advance long-ranged wireless charging technology. However, this fresh report indicates that Apple still has five different groups dedicated to working on wireless charging technology, and looks to evolve the technology as much as possible for its products in the future. Whether we’ll see more nuanced tech from Apple this year or not remains to be seen, however we do hope that the iPhone 8 does not sport the same charging-pad wireless tech seen on other Android phones in the past.

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