Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

Methods and systems to image through displays. A optical imaging sensor is positioned in a position that is at least partially behind the display and is designed to emit light infrared in shortwaves at least part through the display in order to illuminate an object such as a fingerprint that is in contact with the external surface of the display. The image of the object created by absorbing reflections of the display’s surface.

A display used in an electronic device (an “display”) is typically constructed from a mix of functional and structural layers (a “display stack”), which is attached to or otherwise placed beneath the protection cover. The protective cover is an outer layer of the housing that is the home of the electronic device that displays the display in many cases. A traditional display stack may be made transparent to increase contrast.

A device that is electronic may include an optical imaging system such as a camera, ambient light sensor, or a microphone. A optical imaging device is usually placed under the protective cover, and directly adjacent to the display stack. Therefore, an electronic device that incorporates both display stacks as well as an optical imaging system typically requires a cover that extends beyond the border around the display stack in order to reserve space to accommodate the optical imaging system. This design increases the visible dimensions of the bezel that surrounds the display and additionally causes the device’s electronic components to grow in size and size.

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