Apple files for patent to move Touch ID fingerprint scanner from home button to display

“Future iPhones and iPads could move Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor from the device’s home button to the display itself, allowing a more seamless and potentially dynamic way for a device to securely authenticate a user,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The possible future of Touch ID was revealed in a new patent application published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled ‘Fingerprint Sensor in an Electronic Device,'” Hughes reports. “Specifically, the filing describes how Apple might include a fingerprint sensor into the display stack on a device like an iPhone.”

“Apple’s latest proposed invention related to a touchscreen Touch ID would allow the device to capture a single fingerprint at a pre-determined fixed location on the display,” Hughes reports. “For example, an iPhone’s lock screen or a third-party application could ask a user to place their finger in a specific spot on the screen in order to scan it and verify their identity.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

9 Comments

    1. Maybe…but I don’t know why you are so certain about that. Touch ID on the display would enable Apple to move the home button and/or change its size and shape.

      Certainty with respect to Apple’s future course is a dangerous thing.

  1. the way that Touch ID is secure is if the fingerprint data is kept within the Secure Element, which is housed directly in the chip.
    once the GUI becomes a part of the way that that data can be accessed, it inherently becomes less secure.

    1. I guess this means you have to register your fingerprint on each compatible iOS device you own even if the wearable connects to the iPhone. Doubt the way Secure Element works now will allow fingerprint data to be share even if it is the same AppleID being used on the owners’ devices.

    2. Why? It’s still just a sensor sending signals to the secure element. Surely the GUI is just illustrating to you where to put your finger on the screen so that you overlay where the sensor is. If the entire screen was a sensor then it wouldn’t matter, you’d just place it anywhere, but would be more expensive. Of course, in the long run, if they had a large sensor they could read multiple prints at the same time which I suppose would increase the security. It being part of a button doesn’t make it any more or less secure, the sensor is just another part of the button – it’s how the information it gathers is transmitted and stored that makes it secure.

  2. No need for a “visible” home button. The bottom of the iPhone can be a button, much like the Magic Mouse not having two “visible” buttons…PC people complained about the single button till I explained there were really two buttons. Same with trackpad. Do you see a “button” on the bottom? Nah!

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