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Rumor has it that Apple might be working on getting rid of the home button on the next iPhone 8, and bring its patent for a fingerprint reading touchscreen a reality.
Spotted by AppleInsider, the patent describes an “interactive display panel with IR diodes” that would use a combination of infrared emitting LED and infrared sensing technology. This would allow Apple to place a fingerprint reader directly into the phone’s screen rather than the currently used home button. Originally filed in 2014 by micro-LED display company LuxVue, the patent was reassigned to Apple after it acquired the company.
Last year, Apple filed for another patent that suggested the company was looking at moving Touch ID away from the home button and into the phone screen. This also revealed a design that is slightly different from as it doesnt require the layering of two separate transducers, instead relying on micro-LED technology which should allow for more accurate sensing and reading of fingerprints. This would also give Apple more space to work on with the phone, allowing for an extended edge-to-edge display and even more streamlined aesthetic.
Rumors that Apple could be considering dropping the home button to move onto more advanced technology than Touch ID have been circulating for a while now and this micro-LED technology would certainly allow for that.
It is not sure if this feature will come to Apple's iPhone 8, however with the big hardware change expected on the iPhone 8, there are chances we might see it.