Apple patent details virtual home button with embedded fingerprint sensor, expected in the iPhone 8


Rumors say that the 2017 iPhone will feature an edge-to-edge OLED display that covers the handset's entire front, eliminating the well familiar home button in favor of a virtual touch-sensitive key enabled by the smartphone's haptic engine.

A patent recently published by the USPTO reveals more technological details about the solution. The invention will introduce capacitive sensing technology that works through gaps in space, letting Apple embed a Touch ID fingerprint scanner behind the display. The solution also incorporates electrostatic lenses spread across an array of sensing elements that pick up an accurate reading of the user's fingerprint pattern. This is how Apple will be able to introduce a full screen face design to its next iPhone, assuming it actually plans to do so.

There are other inventions in the smartphone industry that would allow for a fingerprint scanner to be embedded behind the display. Qualcomm's Sense ID technology uses ultrasonic waves to capture a reading of the user's fingerprint through surfaces like glass, metal, and plastic. However, Apple practically wants to build a virtual replacement for the Home button and its navigation functionality, which means the company is more interested in developing its own technology, such as the one described in this patent.

source: USPTO

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26 Comments

1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

will they deliver?

3. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I want a home button that I can press with my fingernail to just check the time, but not unwittingly unlock the phone.....oh wait.

8. obedchuni

Posts: 332; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

then do you still like those bezels, so stay with iphone 7, 6s, 6, 5se or 5s, if you like to press the button so much..

10. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

My point is that with the iPhone 7, I don't believe one can 'press' the home 'button' with a fingernail. Exactly why will use my still quite powerful 6S until it becomes obsolete. Hopefully by then Apple will have an 'always on' display (or whatever they call it). Oh, and gave you a +1 by accident.

26. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

My display on my iPhone comes on when I take it out of my pocket or lift it even slightly from a flat surface. It's the same functionality that Android phones have had for some time, but I suggest you try that out.

4. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

Someones finger got chopped off for this patent :/

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

lol....ikr !

16. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

I'll have to cut off my finger to unlock my phone??!!!

20. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Yes, but Apple will make available the new iDumb (yes, dumb, not thumb), a wireless prosthetic finger that senses and automatically unlocks the phone when you hold it, for the low price of $299.99. When asked about how customers who will not cut their finger off will be able to use the phone, Tim Cooks states "This is the best solution to unlocking our new iPhones. This revolutionary technology requires COURAGE from our customers in order to move into the new age of Apple".

21. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Please......look at StopTalking's username.

22. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

What??? How about making sense, or developing a sense of humor?

23. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

My sense of humor is fine. However, your's may need recalibrating......because long ass satire is boring AF.

24. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Long ass satire? Sorry, I guess your ADD doesn't permit you to read something longer than one sentence. Keep talking, I won't further respond to a troll like you.

28. AlikMalix unregistered

Your post is really "iDumb". (Yes, DUMB, not funny).

5. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Shut the hell up!!!

6. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

They will wait for others to do it, them sue them.

9. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

These iPhone 8 rumours are funny. Watch them just release an iPhone 7s like they are scheduled to do.

11. Joms_US

Posts: 200; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

Except that Xiaomi implemented it already in its mi5s h t t p:// w w w.droid-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/194031​ot78yyb80lsq4954.jpg.thumb_.jpg

13. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Except that they didn't. The fingerprint scanner on the mi5s is still behind the button, not the screen.

14. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

To clarify.... yes, technically the mi5s scanner is 'under glass' but the point of this apple article is that the scanner is behind the screen, and theoretically the phone would be pretty bezelless.

12. gamerRO25

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 09, 2015

No way for the iphone8... now that they use the new button with that taptic engine... they will use it for at least another 2 phones.. like all new things they put in phones

15. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Dude, the purpose of this new home button is to get people use to the fact that their will be no physical home button next year. It will work similarly but it won't have a fixed location.

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I can't believe it. Is Apple is really innovating? Wow that's quite an interesting patent.

19. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Wow, a Samsung troglodyte giving his useless opinion about a company he doesn't like. Isn't that something unprecedented?/s

25. Chuck007

Posts: 1410; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Xiaomi, Oppo and/or Huawei are gonna take notes from articles like this and claim they were first to market with the tech when honestly... their implementations of newer technology is downright dreadful.

27. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Expected in iphone 5, expected in iphone 6, expected 7.........now iphone 8

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