Smartphones with in-display fingerprint scanners already exist, and the Galaxy S10 is expected to have a high-performance ultrasonic version. Smartphones with in-display cameras will start popping up this month, with Samsung and Huawei both set to announce one before the holidays. However, as a recently discovered patent application hints, this technology could soon arrive to smartwatches.

A Samsung filing reveals (image above) how a smartwatch could feature an in-display camera, as well as an in-display biometric component for either the fingerprint or iris scanner. The patent also describes (image below), by using a Galaxy S or Note outline, how Samsung might feature a “fingerprint sensor capable of detecting a fingerprint of a user may be disposed on a rear surface of the touch screen display”. An iPhone-like force touch action is also described, enabled by one of the many behind-the-screen components.

These various hardware components might include “a display panel, a touch sensor, and/or an electronic pen sensor. The display panel may include an LCD panel, an LED display panel, an OLED display panel, a MEMS display panel, or an electronic paper display panel. The touch sensor may include a capacitive touch panel, a pressure-sensitive touch panel, a resistive touch panel, an infrared touch panel, or an ultrasonic touch panel.”

The touch panel may be inserted into the display panel (e.g., an add-on touch panel), may be directly formed on the display panel (e.g., an on-cell touch panel), or may be included in the display panel (e.g., an in-cell touch panel). The electronic pen sensor (e.g., a digitizer) may detect a touch input, a gesture input, or a hovering input from an electronic pen.

You can read more at the source link below, but that’s pretty much the jest of it. Future smartphones, tablets, and even smartwatches will have plenty of components either behind the screen or built into it. This will take us one step closer to that all-screen device that we’ve all been waiting for.

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