A research report has hinted that Apple plans to remove the device’s physical home button in favor of a thumbprint sensor embedded in the screen which could be the first step toward a new biometric sensor system.
It’s not a new rumor as the home button would need to go for the bezel-free, edge-to-edge screen design that has been discussed so much, but the information gives some more insight into the tech Apple may be developing to replace its current Touch ID system and improve its touchscreen design as it shifts to an OLED display.
According to sources, Apple’s current under glass capacitive fingerprint recognition tech won’t cut it if the phone has the full-screen, button-free design. Instead, the ID reader will need to shift to an under panel setup, which would require optical ID tech. That might get tricky, because the optical sensors will need to be compatible with flexible OLED panels. That means new, custom solutions from the panel makers to make that system work, but experts believes Apple has the clout to get the system it needs.
Along with the new optical sensor, the rumored facial tracking sensors could be included in the device, which could be used to scan users’ faces as a means to verify identification.
n addition to the home button overhaul, the next iPhone’s 3D Touch tech might be getting a makeover. Apple may switch to a new, more sensitive film sensor for its touchscreen from the current FPCB sensor in the iPhone 7. This is another area where Apple will have to work around the new OLED display,
If this year’s iPhone actually arrives with a new display, new sensors and a stronger backbone, the home button’s loss will be taken in stride. Just don’t mention the headphone jack.