The physical home button has always been a point of contention amongst iPhone users as it does have the potential to wear out, which can be rather annoying and inconvenient. However if the rumors are true, 2017’s iPhone is said to be ditching the home button, so the question is where does this leave Touch ID?
It has been suggested that Touch ID will embedded underneath a piece of glass on the front of the iPhone, and it looks like the speculation has proven to be true. In a recently discovered patent from Apple, it hints at the company’s plans to create devices in which Touch ID could be used without the need for a button.
As you can see in the diagram above, it suggests that while the phone could retain the home button, Touch ID could be used anywhere on the phone, even on the screen itself. What makes this patent more compelling is its inventor, Dale R. Setlak, the co-founder of AuthenTec whom Apple acquired back in 2012.
It should be pointed out that a button-less fingerprint recognition system isn’t exactly new. Qualcomm unveiled their own solution back in 2015 called Sense ID in which it relies on ultra-sonic technology to detect and read the user’s fingerprint. That being said, as much as we’d like this to be true, it is only a patent which means there’s no guarantee that it will be applied to an actual product, but if anything it does seem to be in line with what we’ve heard so far.