We spotted a concept of the iPhone 6 last month that imagined a device without its iconic Home button, which looks like Apple may be considering if a recently published patent is any indication of the company’s future plans.
The patent dubbed “Disappearing button or slider” describes an iPhone that could come with “invisible” buttons and controls that blend into the device when they aren’t in use, to fully appear when needed. Buttons would use the same material as the housing of the device, which would make its blending in even more accurate, and could use selective backlighting to make them appear when tapped or if it senses the motion of your finger, detects heat or sounds.
The iPhone isn’t the only device Apple is considering for invisible buttons as the patent also describers it can be used for other types of devices, including laptops and game consoles. In regards to its use on a laptop, a touch-screen control could become visible when something is inserted into the laptop, such as a DVD or a camera. These controls would then make them operational, to then disappear when the controls are no longer required.