One of the rumors is saying that Apple could be ditching the home button with 2017’s iPhone. Instead in terms of security, Apple could be relying on a front-facing 3D laser scanner to scan the user’s face for a facial recognition system. This would be quite an upheaval over Touch ID which was only recently introduced to the MacBook Pro.
Now whether or not those rumors come true remains to be seen, but prior to that the favorite rumor was that Apple could embed the fingerprint sensor underneath the display of the iPhone, thus getting rid of the home button but maintaining biometric security anyway. Thanks to a recently discovered patent, it shows that Apple has considered such an implementation.
The patent describes how the fingerprint sensor could be hidden underneath the display so that in theory, what could happen is that the entire display could act as a fingerprint sensor meaning that you could pretty much touch anywhere on its display to authenticate yourself. The patent describes how this design would be more efficient than current systems.
This is because the authentication can be performed automatically during normal use of the device, as opposed to users having to shift their thumb/finger to a separate sensor which could be a disruptive process. Of course it’s hard to say if this is the system we can expect the 2017 iPhone to adopt, but it is clear that Apple has considered it as this isn’t the first time we’ve seen such a patent.