Latest Apple patent extension filing suggests Touch ID biometrics on iPhone power button
Future iPhone releases may follow the iPad Air’s lead by integrating Touch ID biometrics in the power button, Patently Apple writes.
A continuation patent application has been published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering Touch ID fingerprint biometrics implemented on a power button. The original patent was filed in 2017 and granted in 2019.
The application covers ‘Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interfaces for Providing a Home Button Replacement,’ and adds 19 new claims to the 42 contained in a patent the USPTO granted Apple in 2019. The original patent did not specify that the button implementing a fingerprint sensor for Touch ID was a power button, but the continuation does.
The 19 new claims relate mostly to the method of implementation and the electronic device, and describe fingerprint authentication as a first step towards unlocking and a last step towards locking the iDevice.
The application describes the advantages of a home button, and the disadvantage to display area from placing the button on the front of the device. The work-around proposed by Apple it to move at least some functions of the home button, including Touch ID, to the power button.
The described electronic device could also include Face ID biometrics.
There has been speculation that Touch ID could eventually move under the display of iPhones, but Apple has also been applying for IP to back Touch ID on Mac keyboards. Biometrics appear to play a key part in Apple’s push to move beyond passwords.