Apple Patents Redesigned Touch ID for iOS Devices without Home Button

A new Apple patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) titled “An Alternative Touch ID Button Location”, details an alternative Touch ID mechanism designed for next-gen iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices featuring larger displays, while eliminating the traditional Home Button, PatentlyApple is reporting. The newly granted patent covers Apple’s invention relating to the field of electronics, as well as to the field of finger sensors.

Apple patent

As illustrated in the patent figure above, the finger biometric sensor assembly is shown along a perimeter of the housing of the electronic device. Apple says that since the finger biometric sensor assembly is smaller than prior art finger biometric sensor assemblies, the finger biometric sensor assembly may be located where real-estate has been limited, such as along a thin side of the housing.

The patent also suggests that the finger biometric sensor assembly may be carried by an input device, such as the power button, along the relative thin edge of the housing.

The finger sensor is carried by the pushbutton switch so that when a user contacts and/or presses downward on the pushbutton switch, finger biometric data from the user’s finger is acquired, for example, for finger matching and/or finger enrollment to be stored and later used for matching.

The finger biometric sensor assembly cooperates with the processor to perform at least one of a finger biometric enrollment and authentication function. Based upon the authentication, for example, a successful authentication, the processor may perform any number of operations, including, for example, security functions, opening or starting an application, a menu function, etc. 

Apple’s newly granted patent was originally filed in Q2 2015.