Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 will feature a new type of display technology that will let Apple build TouchID directly into the display. It will allow you to rest your thumb or finger on the display itself to take a fingerprint reading. Apple’s radical design will make the iPhone feature an all-display frontage. The technology, described in a filing made public Tuesday by the US Patent and Trade Office, will replace the physical home button that’s traditionally occupied the space below the iPhone’s screen.
Apple’s current fingerprint sensing technology requires the home button to be in contact with the user’s finger during operation. Apple might as well be looking to ditch Touch ID altogether as it moves to a new, more advanced system. For example, a touchscreen capable of acting as an input device and fingerprint scanner would save space and grant greater design flexibility. Finding a working technology, however, is difficult, as fingerprint sensor readings need to be highly accurate, much more so than a traditional touchscreen.
The new technology will presumably be using a micro light emitting diode (LED) in an active matrix display to emit light and a sensing IR diode to sense light, i.e the screen will display information like a normal display but it will also react to a person’s touch. Also, it is believed the iPhone 8’s new display will read your fingerprints even when the display is off, which will save screen-on time and in turn conserve your battery.
It is still unsure whether Apple intends to bring the micro-LED technology to iPhone or another future product or not. The company is heavily rumored to launch an “iPhone 8” model this year with an edge-to-edge display. Such a design would require the company to move, hide or delete features incorporated into its contemporary handsets, including proximity and ambient light sensors, and the Touch ID fingerprint module.