One of the greatest debates about Apple’s rumored tenth anniversary iPhone that has arisen is where the fingerprint sensor will be on it. Now a new Touch ID patent is just adding fuel to the fire about the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor.
Where will the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor be located?
Apple fans everywhere want to know whether the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor will be embedded in the display or placed on the phone’s back side. However, Patently Apple found a patent that describes a method for building a fingerprint scanner into a smartphone’s power button, so now the blog-o-sphere is taking it to mean that the Touch ID will be built into the power button of the iPhone 8.
The patent is one of 68 applications by Apple that were all granted recently. The Touch ID patent describes an invention that can be used as an alternative mechanism specifically for Apple devices that have much bigger displays and lack a Home button. In this latest Touch ID patent application, Apple states that the fingerprint sensor is carried by a power button or other type of button “along the relative thin edge of the housing,” which may allow for a bigger display.
How the sensor in the Touch ID patent works
The patent application explains that whenever the user touches or presses the button on the side of the device, the sensor scans their fingerprint for either a “biometric enrollment” or “authentication function.” The Touch ID sensor works with the device’s processor in both of these types of functions and then can perform a variety of different types of operations, such as “security functions, opening or starting an application, a menu function” or other types of operations.
This Touch ID patent isn’t the first one from Apple describing an alternative location for the fingerprint sensor. The company also secured patents for embedding the fingerprint sensor under the display. However, we won’t know the location of the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor until Apple actually unveils the phone, which is expected to happen in September.
Rumors of problems with the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor
This patent is a very interesting one in light of the various rumors and claims we’ve heard about the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor. The rumor mill has been claiming for months that Apple was having a lot of problems with the technology for embedding the sensor in the OLED display.
As a result, there were murmurings that the company may instead slap the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, as other smartphone makers have done recently. The Galaxy S8 is one device that has the fingerprint sensor on the back, although many have judged it to be rather awkward, so it’s understandable that Apple fans don’t want the same to happen to the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor.
Putting the Touch ID sensor in the power button rather than on the back would be a solution to both problems, if Apple is indeed having trouble embedding it in the display. Then again, perhaps this patent will never actually make it into a real product. We heard more recently that the company had fixed the problem with the technology for embedding the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor in the display, so perhaps this Touch ID patent will end up being nothing more than something the company developed just in case it couldn’t get the embedded tech to work.