synapticsRight now for the most part, fingerprint sensors on phones tend to be circular in nature, save for the Sony Xperia Z5 in which the sensor was placed on the side of the phone. However it looks like future fingerprint sensors could be much smaller, thanks to a recent announcement by Synaptics in which they revealed a fingerprint sensor that’s about 3.5mm wide.

According to Engadget, this makes the sensor tiny enough where it could theoretically fit onto the sides of your phone, like the volume rocker or the sleep/wake button. In fact there have been various speculation that Apple could one day get rid of its physical home button, but only if they found some way to embed the sensor into the display itself.

However with a sensor this thin, we reckon Apple could place it anywhere they want. This doesn’t mean that Synaptics is supplying Apple, but rather this is just an example of how fingerprint sensors could be potentially moved about in the phone’s design. Unfortunately if you were hoping for tiny fingerprint sensors for this year, you’d have to wait.

Synaptics is expected to begin mass production of this new sensor in the third quarter of 2016, meaning that at the earliest we will see the sensors make its way into products at the end of the year, or in all likelihood, 2017.

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