June 13, 2017 -
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for its invention covering a redesigned Touch ID mechanism for next-generation Apple devices that will feature larger displays by eliminating the standard ‘home button’, according to a report by Patently Apple.
Patent application #14/741,831 was originally filed in Q2 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple writes in the patent, “Because the finger biometric sensor assembly #30 is smaller than prior art finger biometric sensor assemblies, the finger biometric sensor assembly may located where real-estate has been limited, for example, along a thin side of the housing #21.”
The patent application contains multiple illustrations of possible location options of the finger biometric sensor.
Apple explains that the finger sensor is carried by the pushbutton switch so that when a user contacts and/or presses downward on the pushbutton switch, the system acquires the finger biometric data from the user’s finger.
The finger biometric sensor assembly works with the processor to conduct at least one of a finger biometric enrollment and authentication function.
Based on the authentication, the processor may perform a number of operations including security functions, launching an application, a menu function, and more.
Apple also has other Touch ID alternative designs related to embedding the sensors beneath the display of an Apple device, making it unclear as to which final design the company will incorporate into its upcoming iPhone 8 or iPhone X.
In May, Apple was granted 56 patents including an edge-to-edge display and an in-screen Touch ID button for future iPhone’s.