The United States Patent and Trademark Office has today granted a patent application from Apple for a Touch ID sensor that would be able to detect and read your fingerprints via not just the home button, but also via other parts of the phone, including “display stacks and touch screens,” according to MacRumors.
The patent application explains that Apple has devised this new way of using Touch ID features on the device display for several reasons, including “an interest in avoiding assigning valuable surface space exclusively to a component that may only be used briefly during the process of identifying the user.”
Apparently Apple had many obstacles to overcome in perfecting the design, which was credited to inventor Jean-Marie Bussat, including a “blurring of the electric field” that caused a loss of resolution of the fingerprint when it was being transferred from the Touch ID sensor to the iPhone screen.
While many Apple patent applications are for products or devices that never actually see the light of day, this particular filing does give credence to the many recent rumours that the 2017 iPhone 8 will have a Touch-ID-enabled display instead of a Touch-ID-enabled home button.
Source: New Apple Patent Describes Fingerprint Sensor That Could Work Through Display