This would be a great way for Apple, or any phone manufacturer for that matter, to increase screen size without increasing the overall size of the phone. Or make a phone with a true edge-to-edge screen.
Apple said in the newly reassigned patent : “When the fingerprint is placed upon the transparent substrate, the sensing IR diodes within the display panel sense patterned IR light reflected off grooves of the fingerprint surface. “This patterned IR light is relayed to the output processor as a bitmap where it is processed to determine the fingerprint surface’s unique pattern. Because the display panel can sense IR light, the display panel is able to perform surface profile determination when the display panel is not emitting visible light.”