Many rumours have suggested Apple’s upcoming iPhone will use optical finger scanning technology to hide the home button underneath the display. The rumoured iPhone 8 launch, set to take place in the tenth year of the product line’s existence, is set to redefine Apple’s smartphone with a number of innovative changes that will encourage long-time owners to upgrade.
Now a new report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (via Digitimes) cites sources from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) who claim the iPhone will use optical fingerprint scanning to enable a user to place their finger directly onto the screen to unlock the device, instead of the current system where the user scans their finger with the home button below the screen.
“Apple will use an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen, said the report. Additionally, the new iPhone devices will also come with invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of high-pixel camera and to enable [augmented reality] applications,” reads the report.
Authenticating with a sensor under the screen will enable Apple to remove the home button entirely, something Android device makers have struggled to do over the past several years.
The report also claims that Apple will take the opportunity to change the screen aspect ratio from 16:9 to 18.5:9. This agrees with previous rumors that suggest the iPhone will have a 5.8-inch screen on a phone a similar size to the current 4.7-inch device.
Additionally, according to the report the phone will use invisible infrared image sensors to improve the camera quality and enable augmented reality applications. This is an area CEO Tim Cook has expressed interest in before, so the new device could represent Apple’s first conscious shift into making hardware designed for virtual worlds.
Check out a video of a supposed “dummy model” of the iPhone 8, posted to the web earlier this week: