Apple patents fingerprint sensor screen and Home button with trackpad function

On November 26, 2013


One of the most notable additions for iPhone 5S, the Home button with integrated fingerprint reader, could get a new utility in the near future. Simultaneously, the screen will become a giant fingerprint sensor whose active area is the touch surface.

Apparently TouchID function from which users can unlock the phone and authorize electronic payments by swiping the finger over the Home button is just the first step in a more ambitious plan hatched by the Cupertino Company. According to the description provided in the patent application filed by the World International Property Organization, Apple could use the technology behind the sensor to turn TouchID Home button in a trackpad with a similar functionality already met at the Blackberry Curve series phones. Thus, users can navigate through the phone menus rotating and swiping their finger over the Home button. Additionally, the TouchID sensor could obtain the ability to interpret the press pressure and the time parameters serving to improve the control of applications and games for iOS.

iphone patents

The same document describes a new use of the touch screen that can be used as a giant fingerprint reader. Besides authentication applications, fingerprints can help identify exactly what finger is on the screen at a time, activating a menu or a special function configured before. For example, a long press with the index finger could lead us straight into the messaging application and another finger to open the camera application. These new function should not affect the battery life too much, the sensitivity of the touch interface is dynamically adjusted based on the use of the phone. Alternatively, fingerprint reading function may be restricted to the portion of the display surface, for example the login interface defined in the active application.

Unfortunately, for the patent application as a document with 612 pages is not mentioned a deadline for implementation, so that the presence of these innovations in the upcoming iPhone 6 is far from something certain.