According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple is currently developing a new touchscreen that could fully implement both fingerprint sensors and ‘Force Touch’ technologies, meaning the iconic Home button could make way for a larger screen with a ‘virtual home button’ instead.

The source claims that Apple is working in-house on “touch and display driver integration” solutions with integrated fingerprint sensors, and has plans to use the technology to create a future iPhone with no Home button and a “whole plane design”.

Though none of this is official information, Apple did file a patent over a year ago for a “full panel fingerprint sensor” which could acquire multiple fingerprints at once from anywhere on a “display stack” of an electronic device. That would imply the company is at least considering the idea.

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Apple has clearly been thinking about moving Touch ID onscreen for a while

Many Android phones already use virtual home and back buttons instead of a physical button on the front of the device. It would certainly be an efficient way to cram a larger screen size into the iPhone without adding physical bulk, but many would mourn the loss of the Home button – an iPhone staple since the first generation device in 2007.

3D visualization artist Martin Hajek has mocked up what a borderless iPhone with no physical home button could look like. It has been considered that Apple could instead use a thinner full-width strip along the bottom of the device for the same functionality as the current Home button, using the new technology.

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No physical home button would allow Apple to reduce the bezel size for a more flush design

Even if Apple is trying to figure out how to ditch the physical home button, it will likely be a while until we see the fruits of their work. The upcoming iPhone 6S is likely to be an iterative upgrade, although it’s rumored to include Force Touch capabilities.

Such a big change to the design of Apple’s flagship device is more likely to be part of the iPhone 7, or even 8, if it happens at all. Food for thought.