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Here's how Apple could solve those FaceID mask problems on the next iPhone

Apple could be bringing FaceID back to its upcoming iPhone series.
Apple could be bringing FaceID back to its upcoming iPhone series. (Alwin Kroon/Unsplash)

The Cupertino company's upcoming iPhones could feature the return of TouchID, making unlocking your face a lot easier in public while you have a mask on. 

One of the most significant downsides to owning an iPhone during the novel coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to use FaceID while wearing a face mask. Apple ditched its fingerprint-based TouchID system in 2017, with the arrival of the iPhone X, but a new report suggests that the company could bring it back in a new form.

Apple’s successor to the iPhone SE was launched last year, with the company’s A13 chip and a physical TouchID sensor. That device was launched with the same design as the iPhone 8, which allowed enough room to include that feature - not an option with the latest full-screen iPhones.

Also read: There might never be an iPhone 13: Here’s why we think so 

However, according to MacRumours, which cites a research note from Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner, it looks like Apple is going to bring back TouchID on its upcoming iPhone series. This time, however, it appears that the company will put the TouchID sensor under the device’s display.

While there are several alternatives available in terms of fingerprint sensor placement, such as on the power button or on the back of the phone, having the sensor front and center does make it the easiest to reach, especially when the phone is lying flat on its back. It also makes sense that Apple is adding these features now since the latest iPhone series all have OLED screens. The company could use its rumoured always-on-display to point to the location of the in-display fingerprint sensor.

“We also view the adoption of fingerprint-under-glass, that likely is added in the 2H21 iPhones, as a structural headwind for additional 3D sensing content at Apple and could be the security feature of the future,” the research note states. It is not known at the moment whether Apple will use an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor or an optical scanner on its upcoming iPhones.

Read more: Rumoured iPhone 14 may get ‘unibody’ camera design, here’s what it means

The report also states that the company could shrink the massive notch that we have seen since the iPhone X, thanks to a “more tightly integrated version of the current structured light system”. However, the analyst does not expect the LiDAR system on the back to make its way to the non-Pro variants this year.

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