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1. WO2013130396 - ELECTRONIC DEVICE WITH SHARED NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATIONS AND SENSOR STRUCTURES

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

What is Claimed is:

1. An electronic device, comprising:

a fingerprint sensor having conductive structures and having fingerprint sensor circuitry that is configured to gather fingerprint data with the conductive structures; and

near field communications circuitry that is coupled to the conductive structures and that is

configured to receive near field communications signals with the conductive structures.

2. The electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the electronic device is operable by a user having a finger, wherein the conductive structures comprise at least one electrode through which signals are provided to the finger from the fingerprint sensor circuitry, and wherein the near field communications circuitry comprises a near field communications transceiver coupled to the electrode and configured to transmit and receive near field communications signals with the electrode.

3. The electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the electrode comprises a ring-shaped electrode.

4. The electronic device defined in claim 3 further comprising a button, wherein the electrode is mounted to the button.

5. The electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the conductive structures comprise at least one sensor electrode.

6. The electronic device defined in claim 5 wherein the near field communications circuitry comprises near field communications circuitry that is configured to transmit and receive capacitively coupled near field communications signals using the at least one sensor electrode .

7. The electronic device defined in claim 5 wherein the at least one sensor electrode comprises a plurality of electrodes and wherein the near field

communications circuitry comprises near field

communications circuitry that is configured to transmit multiple streams of data in parallel through the plurality of electrodes using capacitively coupled near field communications signals.

8. The electronic device defined device in claim 1 wherein the conductive structures comprise at least one electrode and wherein the near field

communications circuitry comprises a near field

communications transceiver coupled to the electrode and configured to transmit and receive near field

communications signals with the electrode.

9. The electronic device defined in claim 8 wherein the electrode comprises a capacitor electrode and wherein the near field communications circuitry is configured to transmit and receive capacitively coupled near field communications signals using the capacitor electrode .

10. The electronic device defined device in claim 1 wherein the conductive structures are configured to form at least one inductor and wherein the near field communications circuitry comprises a near field

communications transceiver coupled to the inductor and configured to transmit and receive near field

communications signals with the inductor.

11. The electronic device defined in claim 1 further comprising a button, wherein the conductive structures are mounted to the button.

12. The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the conductive structures are configured to form at least one capacitor electrode on the button and wherein the near field communications circuitry comprises a near field communications transceiver coupled to the capacitor electrode .

13. The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the conductive structures are configured to form at least one inductor on the button and wherein the near field communications circuitry comprises a near field communications transceiver coupled to the inductor.

14. The electronic device defined in claim 1 further comprising switching circuitry that is configured to selectively couple the fingerprint sensor circuitry and the near field communications circuitry to the conductive structures .

15. An electronic device, comprising:

sensor circuitry;

at least one electrode coupled to the sensor circuitry, wherein the sensor circuitry is

configured to gather sensor data using the electrode; and near field communications transceiver circuitry that is coupled to electrode and that is configured to transmit and receive near field

communications signals with the electrode.

16. The electronic device defined in claim 15 wherein the electrode is configured to form a capacitor structure and wherein the near field communications transceiver circuitry is configured to transmit and receive capacitively coupled near field communications signals using the capacitor structure.

17. The electronic device defined in claim 16 further comprising a button, wherein the capacitor structure is mounted on the button.

18. The electronic device defined in claim 16 further comprising a housing having a front face with a display, wherein the capacitor structure is mounted on the front face .

19. The electronic device defined in claim 18 wherein the sensor circuitry comprises fingerprint sensor circuitry .

20. The electronic device defined in claim 16 further comprising a housing that has a front face with a display and that has an edge, wherein the capacitor structure is mounted on the edge.

21. The electronic device defined in claim 20 wherein the sensor circuitry comprises fingerprint sensor circuitry .

22. An electronic device, comprising:

a conductive structure;

sensor circuitry coupled to the conductive structure, wherein the sensor circuitry is configured to gather sensor data using the conductive structure;

near field communications transceiver circuitry that is coupled to conductive structure and that is configured to transmit and receive near field

communications signals with the conductive structure.

23. The electronic device defined in claim 22 wherein the conductive structure is configured to form a capacitor structure and wherein the near field

communications transceiver circuitry is configured to transmit and receive capacitively coupled near field communications signals using the capacitor structure.

24. The electronic device defined in claim 22 wherein the conductive structure is configured to form an inductor structure and wherein the near field

communications transceiver circuitry is configured to transmit and receive inductively coupled near field communications signals using the inductor structure.

25. An electronic device configured to communicate with external equipment and configured to gather fingerprint data from a finger of a user,

comprising :

a fingerprint sensor having at least one optical transmitter and at least one optical receiver; and control circuitry that is coupled to the optical transmitter and the optical receiver, wherein the control circuitry is configured to gather the fingerprint data from the finger of the user using the fingerprint sensor, is configured to transmit optical signals to external equipment using the optical transmitter, and is configured to receive optical signals from the external equipment using the optical receiver.

26. A method of communicating between a first device and a second device, comprising:

receiving a predetermined spatial pattern of near field communications signals from an array of electrodes in the first device using an array of

electrodes in the second device; and

in response to receiving the predetermined spatial pattern of near field communications signals using the array of electrodes in the external equipment, taking a corresponding action with the external equipment.

27. The method defined in claim 26 wherein taking the corresponding action comprises initiating a data transfer mode between the first and second devices.