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Apple’s Upcoming Watch Series Likely to Feature a Micro LED Display Integrating Optical Sensors

As the foreign media reported, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a patent application submitted by Apple on March 3, 2022, in which the process of integrating optical sensors into a Micro LED display is described.

The document describes the process and purposes of integrating ambient light sensors, fingerprint sensors and finger vein readers into a Micro LED screen. Apple also mentions the possible applications of the optical-sensor-equipped screen along with their goals, including its applications to the health sector, RGB cameras, fingerprint sensing and gesture recognition.

What’s special about the iPhone maker’s patent is that the sensor (marked as 110 in the following figure) and Micro LED chip (120) are installed on the same surface.

The foreign media estimate that the Micro LED display is likely being used in the upcoming Apple Watch series.

Apple Watch will allegedly become the tech giant’s first lineup equipped with Micro LED displays, while relevant media outlets predict that the said Watch series will be rolled out in 2023 or 2024.

Apple has already obtained and applied for various Micro LED-related patents. For example, a patent filed in 2019 specifies the integration of a Micro LED display with communication interfaces, storage devices, input structures and power to achieve display image processing.

In February 2021, the USPTO approved another Apple Micro LED patent titled “Stacked hybrid Micro-LED pixel architecture.”

By LEDinside