After switching to a Taptic Touch ID sensor for the iPhone 7, Apple is strongly rumored to be eliminating a physical “Home” button altogether for next year’s iPhone 8 — and instead integrating Touch ID fingerprint sensors into the main display.
Now a newly-published patent appears to back up that rumor, with the stated goal of expanding screen real estate by avoiding, “assigning valuable surface space exclusively to a component that may only be used briefly during the process of identifying the user.”
The patent describes a method for turning a display into a giant Touch ID sensor, combining “a capacitive fingerprint sensor” with a “display stack coupled to the surface layer, an electrostatic lens coupled to the display stack and an array of capacitive sensing elements coupled to the electrostatic lens.”
This isn’t the first Apple patent that’s covered similar ground. Last year, Cult of Mac spotted a patent application entitled “Fingerprint Biometric Sensor Including Drive Signal Level Updating,” which describes circuitry capable of acquiring fingerprint data by using special “sensing pixels” within screens.
Apple has also been rumored to be bringing more of its chip design in-house — with one of these reportedly being a single-chip solution for handling both the touchscreen and display drivers for future iPhones.
Would you be in favor of Apple bidding its iconic “Home” button a fond farewell in terms of a Touch ID embedded in the display? Leave your comments below.
Via: Patently Apple