Recent patents acquired by Samsung appear to suggest that they are looking to implement a dramatically changed physical home button on the Galaxy S8, moving to the circular one favored by Apple instead of the traditional tapered rectangle that the company has used in the past.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Circular home button
IMAGE: Patently Mobile.

New patents and development in fingerprint scanning technology for Galaxy S8

Patently Mobile has revealed that Samsung was granted new patents that show the South Korean electronics manufacturer is looking to improve its fingerprint scanning technology on its smartphones. While the fingerprint scanning information will not come as a big shock to anyone, the idea of a new circular home button will certainly raise some eyebrows.

It has always been one of the easiest ways to quickly tell the difference between the two main smartphone providers. Apple phones have a circle and Samsung’s has a more ‘lozenge-shaped’ home button.

The battle for the top end smartphone market is as intense as ever. Samsung faced accusations of copying Apple for many years, but has recently moved away from that reputation. Having finally stopped those comments, it seems a strange choice to move to a home button so unmistakably associated with Apple devices.

Interestingly, as Samsung appear to be looking at the circular button for the Galaxy S8, there have been suggestions that Apple will dispense with the home button all together in their 2017 edition, likely to be called the iPhone 8.

A move away from fingerprint technology

A second patent looks at more typical Android answer to the security question. The patent has the fingerprint scanning technology on the back of the phone where there is more space available on the Galaxy S8.

It seems slightly strange to be investing so much time and resources for a feature that will likely not be available until 2018. Fingerprint technology has been shown to not be as reliable as first thought with iPhones, and with the advancements in technology it seems more likely that traditional biometric features will become obsolete.

As facial and iris recognition capabilities become more affordable and practical, that is likely to be the direction that futures devices will take. There is also talk of phones being able to recognize the way you hold your phone, the speed and gait of your walk, and even the way you swipe the screen.