A newly-published patent appears to lend further weight to the belief that Apple will eventually bring Touch ID back to the iPhone.

According to the patent, Apple is working on a new type of under-display fingerprint scanner that isn’t currently in use by other companies.

The patent, spotted by Patently Apple, is simply titled “Under-display fingerprint sensing based on off-axis angular light.” It goes on to describe the ability to make fingerprint scanning a more accurate and reliable affair.

Current technology used by other companies requires that active RGB pixels emit light to illuminate a fingerprint. That light is then be reflected back between the pixels and picked up by a fingerprint sensor beneath the display itself. However, that has its problems due to low contrast and noise.

Apple’s idea is to use off-axis angular light that is then captured by a series of “angle-dependent filtering options between the display and the sensor.” Apple believes that such a method will be better than existing ones because it can “improve the contrast of fingerprint impressions and maintain the compactness of the entire sensing system.”

Some rumors have Apple getting ready to bring Touch ID to the 2021 iPhones, although that depends on who you listen to.

With people wearing face masks we’re finding more and more that Face ID simply doesn’t work as well as using a fingerprint instead. Apple is now trying to work around that by using a paired Apple Watch as a method of authentication, but it’s still not ideal.

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