Fingerprint-scanning Gorilla Glass could eliminate iPhone’s Home button


Touch ID
Say goodbye to the Home button as you know it.
Photo: Apple

We are one step closer to the end of Touch ID as we know it.

Following on from Apple’s recent patent filing concerning “finger biometric sensing pixels” for future iPhones, tech R&D company Sonovation has announced that it’s discovered a way of putting ultrasonic biometric sensors under Gorilla Glass — by bonding the sensors directly onto the display panel. Better yet, it works accurately even when fingers are wet, dirty, or oily.

According to Sonovation’s CTO Rainer Schmitt, this technology is “well suited for through-the-glass fingerprinting and specifically architected to deliver advanced security and ease-of-integration into mobile and IoT devices.”

There’s no word on how secure it is compared to the touch sensors used in present generation smartphones, although you’d expect Sonovation to at least achieve comparable levels to existing sensors if it is going to have any shot at becoming the de-facto replacement for current touch sensors

One other limitation is that the technology is only compatible with Corning Gorilla Glass at the moment, which means that Apple may have to put plans for sapphire iPhone screens on the back burner for the time being if it plans to take advantage.


The big benefit of eliminating the iPhone’s classic Home button is that it would allow Apple to enlarge the display of its handsets without having to increase the physical footprint of the device in the process.

Would you like to see Apple get rid of the Touch ID button in favor of a fingerprint-sensing iPhone display? Leave your comments below.

Source: TNW


  • Todd Dixon

    Lot to be said for a good old fashioned mechanical button to get you back to home.

  • UZ

    Only if they can also place the FaceTime camera and sensor next to it under the display, and move the earpiece out of sight. So that the front can be one piece of smooth glass.

  • Coatsey

    Yes I’ve hoping for a few generations that the home button was virtual and appeared in the screen, same with eh poker at the top, move it and use the space for screen.

  • Rafterman00

    The home button isn’t going anywhere. You still need a physical button to assist in things like system recovery and locked up apps.

    • imtough

      A combination of the sleep button and force touch will accomplish that. Or they’ll move the home button to the side of the phone where a righty’s thumb naturally lays.

      • Yes I vote side home button!

      • imtough

        It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Place it right under the sleep where one’s thumb anatomically already rests. Its necessity is lessened during use by force touch and is this touch ID guerilla glass soluction pans out, boom. Same screen size, smaller overall footprint.

  • Stetch

    They could move the homebutton to the side. Or something.

  • tjwolf

    Many seem to think that the home button is just a “function” – but it’s also a great way to orient your phone in your hand without looking. It is also makes an iPhone instantly recognizable by the front face. I doubt Apple will get rid of it any time soon.

  • sanguiseritmeus

    Hmmm, I don’t know… The home button is iconic and touch ID is obviously built right into it. The home button is part of the iPhone’s “Americana.” I’ve seen some concepts and they look pretty good but ultimately I think I would miss that familiar beautiful round button.

  • I’d rather they got rid of the top bezel. The home button has many functions that you want to do regardless of the current app. Tap, double tap, press and hold, triple tap, hold while tapping sleep button… You want these functions off-screen.