Apple is said to have found a way to embed a fingerprint sensor into an OLED display, negating the need for a physical Home button.
It’s been long-rumored that the upcoming iPhone 8 will do away with the Home button, in favor of an edge-to-edge display covering the entire front of the device. However, until now it was thought that keeping Touch ID on the front face would be difficult, as its capacitive sensor can’t register a print through the glass of the screen.
As a workaround, Apple has reportedly – according to sources from manufacturers TSMC – developed a way to use optical sensors that don’t require direct contact with skin to register a fingerprint. This means that the sensor could be placed anywhere under the display – potentially, it could cover the entire front face of the iPhone, meaning it could identify you no matter where you touch the screen. We’d say it’s unlikely to be used in this manner this year, but it would be a great improvement for next year’s Touch ID.
There was talk of Apple having to move Touch ID to the back as a last resort if it couldn’t solve this problem on time, but this latest report gives us hope that won’t be the case. Keeping the fingerprint sensors on the front would be a much better solution for the iPhone 8, and it would prove Apple can solve problems that Samsung can’t, as the latest Galaxy smartphone included a back-mounted print sensor as a last-minute compromise.
Of course, supply issues could prevent Apple from rolling out this tech quickly enough to include in the iPhone 8, so this is no guarantee of the technology’s inclusion in the year’s flagship device. Here’s hoping, though!