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Samsung's new display tech could return Touch ID to the iPhone

iPhone Touch ID

Samsung's new OLED display panels have integrated fingerprint and health sensors, potentially paving the way for the return of Touch ID in future iPhone models.

The Sensor OLED Display can measure a person's heart rate, blood pressure, and stress level with a touch of two fingers on the screen. In contrast to the conventional approach of incorporating fingerprint sensors as separate modules beneath the panel, Samsung Display has integrated the light-sensing organic photodiode (OPD) directly within the panel structure.

The reflection of OLED light undergoes distinct variations based on the expansion and contraction of blood vessels within the finger. As the light returns to the panel, the integrated OPD detects these changes, converting them into valuable health data.

"To accurately measure a person's blood pressure, it is necessary to measure the blood pressure of both arms," the company. "The Sensor OLED display can simultaneously sense the fingers of both hands, providing more accurate health information than existing wearable devices."

Sensor OLED Display
Sensor OLED Display

Samsung Display says it's the first to release panel technology that can simultaneously sense fingerprints and biometric information.

Rumors have long claimed that Apple has been working on technology that could offer display-embedded fingerprint sensing and may release an iPhone with a Touch ID sensor under the screen. Samsung might have just delivered a solution to such a sensor.

But other reports say that Apple is also working to embed Face ID sensors under the iPhone display as well, though that may not arrive until 2025 or later. So it's also possible that Touch ID may not ever return to the iPhone.

Another new display that the company is showing off is called Rollable Flex. Unlike traditional foldable or slidable designs, which provide a maximum of three times scalability, the Rollable Flex overcomes these restrictions by allowing the display to be rolled and unrolled along an axis resembling the shape of the letter "O," much like a scroll.

Rollable Flex
Rollable Flex

Samsung is unveiling the new OLED technologies during the SID Display Week at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The event runs from May 23 to May 25.