Apple plans to make screen a fingerprint sensor
Apple’s new TouchID fingerprint sensor is one of the key features of the new iPhone 5S, but its functionality is limited to unlocking the device and authenticating app purchases. However, it looks like Apple is planning to further build this biometric technology and may make the whole touchscreen a fingerprint sensor.
As per a patent application filed with the World International Property Organization, Apple wants to patent a technology that enables it to use the Home button as a trackpad (similar to the one seen in BlackBerry Curve phones). This technology also transforms the touchscreen into a fingerprint scanner.
Apple’s technology will allow users to navigate the menu and apps using just the Home button. This patent filing has led to speculation that the trackpad technology would debut with a large-screen iPhone. Apple is said to be currently working on iPhones with 4.8-inch and 6-inch screens, reports the Times of India.
With this technology, users will be able to move to the right or left directions by “twisting” or “revolving” their thumbs on the Home button. An upwards swipe on the Home button would open the multitasking menu. The patent filing also shows that it can be used as a joystick while playing games.
Though the technology has provision for making the whole touchscreen into a fingerprint sensor, the patent filing says that only a select portion of the display will be used as a scanner. For example, apps like Mail and Banking, which require more security, will scan the fingerprint to confirm the identity of the device’s owner.
The technology will also allow users to create shortcuts via on-screen gestures. Thus, they will be able to launch and return to commonly used apps like Mail and Camera from any app they are using with specific gestures. The patent filing also shows that touch-typing will be improved in upcoming Apple gadgets as the technology will recognize users’ typing patterns on the screen.