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Apple Develops a New Face ID Projection System With Next-generation Metamaterials

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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It is reported today that the American multinational technology company Apple has developed a new face ID projection system with the next-generation metamaterials

According to a report published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the tech giant has filed a patent application relating to optical devices and systems, specifically optical elements based on metamaterials and methods for producing such optical elements used in the iPhone’s Face ID projection system.

Over the years, Apple has been known for its optical pattern projectors used in a variety of applications, including Apple’s TrueDepth projection systems. A projection module, for example, projects a pattern of spots onto a target scene in some structured light depth mapping devices, and an image of the projected pattern is processed to find the depth coordinates of the points in the target scene.

apple face id projection system
Image credit: Patently Apple

A light source, a lens system to collimate the light source’s beam, and a diffractive optical element (DOE) to split the collimated beam into an array of output beams, which form the spots on the target image, are often included in the projection module. The projection module’s size, weight, and cost are increased by the necessity to use both a lens and a DOE.

Apple’s latest technology solves this difficulty by combining focusing (for example, collimation) and patterning operations in a single optical element based on metamaterials put on a single transparent substrate.

A first metasurface on the substrate collimates an incident beam of optical radiation, while a second metasurface on the same substrate separates the input beam into an array of many output beams. The two metasurfaces might be created on opposing surfaces of the substrate, or they can be formed on the same surface one above the other.

Unfortunately, the release date and time of the new patent application have not been communicated yet by the tech giant, but we hope it will soon be unveiled, as we will keep you updated. Stay connected with TechGenyz for more latest tech news.


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