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New Apple patents support upcoming iPhone 8 features

Edge-to-edge display and embedded Touch ID look more likely than ever

Apple was just granted a whopping fifty-six patents for various ideas that could be used in future products. Interestingly, a couple in particular stood out in relation to the iPhone 8…

Firstly, an edge-to-edge display patent seems to support the idea that the upcoming iPhone will remove or reduce the bezels around the edge of the screen. According to the official filing, this has the advantage of “allowing the touch active area of the panel to be extended closer to the edge of the device.” Sounds about right to us. We’d be very surprised if this design feature didn’t make its way to the iPhone 8 after so much speculation. Keeping the bezels would surely be seen as lagging behind the competition, as Samsung and others have already started shipping devices with edge-to-edge displays.

Next up is the idea to embed fingerprint scanners under the display panel. If the bezels are removed from the iPhone 8, that of course leaves no room for a physical Home button and nowhere to place a Touch ID sensor. This patent shows how Apple could instead integrate the sensors into the entire display, such that you could press anywhere on screen as a method of authentication. We’d love to see this in the next iPhone, though we’ve heard rumors that manufacturing and supply constraints might mean this feature has to wait.

In theory, this would mean the device always knows if it’s really you at the controls, as it could scan your finger with every prod and swipe

One more thing

One final patent of interest granted today relates to 3D mapping. The patent speaks of a depth scanning engine which could be used to track the movement of objects in 3D space, like the Xbox Kinect of a few years back. Perhaps this technology could wind up being part of a camera-based Augmented Reality system at some point in the future?