Apple may be planning to redesign and relocate the Touch ID sensor, according to a recently discovered patent. According to a report by Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has posted 68 patents that were recently granted to Apple. One of the most exciting patent that was granted to Apple was a new location for the Touch ID sensor. According to the patent, Apple may relocate the Touch ID sensor on to the power button at the top of the smartphone.
This patent could soon become a reality because of issues that the company is facing in embedding the fingerprint scanner below the screen for authentication for a true bezel-less display. Samsung appears to have struggled with the same dilemma and ended up placing a fingerprint reader on the rear of the Galaxy S8. According to recent reports, the company has not been able to crack the problem of placing a Touch ID sensor underneath the screen with the current technology at their disposal, and it is trying to find different locations for the Touch ID sensor.
The shift of the sensor could mean that the upcoming iPhone could come without a fingerprint scanner. The description along with the parent that states that fingerprint biometric sensor is smaller than ‘prior art finger biometric sensor assemblies’, the new sensor ‘may’ be located in areas with lack of abundant space. This could allow Apple to remove the long standing physical home button on the front and in turn ensuring larger displays. Of course, it's also unusual that the power button is on the top of the device. Apple has traditionally placed that button on the side of the phone. Such a design could prove problematic on the larger Plus model iPhones.
The relocated Touch ID is likely to perform the same functions as the one on the current sensor. One thing to note here is that that mechanics of the Touch ID are similar to the one in the current implementation of Touch ID where the user taps to activate the scanner. The report details that Apple had applied for the patent back in Q2 2015.