A newly discovered Apple patent reveals how the iPhone’s redesigned Home button will work as a fingerprint scanner.
It’s widely rumored the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint scanner built into the Home button. But putting a fingerprint scanner into the Home button presents Apple with a problem. The Home button is used as the primary navigation device. Pressing the Home button quits apps and returns the user to the Home screen. If the fingerprint Home button is used as an authentication device, to conduct a secure online purchase say, the user needs to avoid accidentally pressing it. The last thing they want is to quit the browser and be returned to the Home screen.
The solution is a capacitive ring built around the Home button that detects the user’s finger without a button press.