What it is: Apple recently filed a patent for a way to detect fingerprints through the screen.
Just a few years ago, Apple introduced Touch ID, which was a way to verify your identity through your fingerprint. Although not perfect, Touch ID provided accurate enough that most people readily used it. By just pressing your finger to the fingerprint sensor, you could quickly unlock your iPhone or iPad.
Then Apple switched to Face ID, which they claimed was actually more reliable. While holding your camera to your face to verify your identity worked, many people still prefer using a fingerprint sensor instead.
That’s what makes Apple’s latest patent filing interesting because it’s a way to detect a fingerprint without using a specific sensor. Instead, the user can place a fingertip on any part of a screen and the entire screen essentially becomes a fingerprint sensor.
If Apple brings back Touch ID and pairs it with Face ID, that will provide much stronger verification features that will make it extremely difficult for anyone to spoof. The big question is whether Apple will introduce Touch ID back to the iPhone and iPad again or simply stick with Face ID instead.
In any case, biometrics like facial recognition or fingerprint recognition helps cut down on fraud. As people get used to relying on facial and fingerprint recognition, the idea of locking your device with just a passcode will seem quaint and antiquated.