Apple is investigating ways to remove the notch. This notch where the front camera and Face ID-related sensors are located hasn’t changed since its arrival with the iPhone X. A patent application indicates that the Cupertino company could put an end to this frontal area. In addition, they would integrate the facial unlocking system directly on the screen.
One of the trends that mobile manufacturers are following is killing the notch. In recent years we have seen from motorized cameras that hide the body of the phone itself up to holes in the screen, among other proposals. However, Apple has kept the notch until its latest iPhones, but has been working on technologies that allow it to remove it entirely.
Apple’s patent application
As collected Apple Insider, Cupertino’s patent application talks about a technology that would allow them to integrate Face ID under the screen. Here we must remember that the facial recognition system of the iPhone makes a 3D scan of the user’s face analyzing more than 30,000 invisible points. Because of this, it is not so easy to implement a solution with a hole in the OLED panel. Although of course, possibly this would also go against the design concept of the company.
Apple’s filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office talks about “Photodetectors embedded in thin film transistor backplates“In other words, it refers to a screen. These, in addition to presenting images, can include a variety of sensors for different purposes. For example, recording biometric or depth data.
In this sense, the documentation is quite clear. He talks about the “photodetector array” can be used to generate “an image, a depth map or a video clip”. While current sensors are capable of accomplishing the aforementioned tasks, this technology needs more development to be less expensive and take up less space on an iPhone.
“New developments that can be particularly useful are those that reduce the cost, size, complexity, number of parts, or time to manufacture the sensor or sensor system,” continues Apple’s request.
According to what is detailed in the documentation, Apple would be trying to place photodetectors inside or next to a screen. In the case of the first, it is mentioned that it would be “attached to the multilayer structure” and would include “a photosensitive organic material”.
The company indicates that the aforementioned technology can be configured as “a biological authentication sensor or a facial recognition sensor.” In this way, possibly Apple would be closer to dispensing with the notch on iPhone for Face ID function. However, patent applications do not assure that this can become a reality.