Apple, iPhone

There is still quite some time until we will be able to get our hands onto the next iteration of the massively overhauled iPhone 8. The rumors and speculations related to the said device have been flooding the interwebs, stirring a debate over where certain components will be integrated. The hottest topic of discussion has been the positioning of the Touch ID sensor, which is further being fanned by this patent filing.

Over the past few months, we have all been speculating two prominent positions for the Touch ID sensor on the upcoming iPhone 8. One little detail about the device is known to everyone — the display will stretch and cover most of the front surface. This is clear indication of the fact that a prominent circular Touch ID sensor (and home button) will have to be moved.

The alternatives that have surfaced are — a circular sensor on the back of the iPhone under the Apple logo — which is probably not the choice being made by the Cupertino giant. It is instead opting for the integration of a Touch ID sensor under the OLED display but the results haven’t much satisfactory as of yet. The completely new and unthinkable iteration of the authentication process has been described in this patent and it replaces the traditional home button. It was first spotted by Patently Apple.

apple, iphone

The patent application titled Finger biometric sensor assembly including direct bonding interface and related methods was filed by the Cupertino giant back in June 2015 and granted in December of last year. We believe Apple may have tested such a prototype as the screen shown in the image attached above shows an edge-to-edge display. This replaces the Touch ID sensor in the home button and extends the screen to cover most of the real estate on the front of the device.

The Touch ID integration into the home button at the top, where the button was located in device iterations before the iPhone 6, has been described in the patent application as under:

A finger biometric sensor assembly may include a finger biometric sensor integrated circuit (IC) die having a finger sensing area and a cover layer aligned with the finger sensing area. The finger biometric sensor may also include a direct bonding interface between the finger biometric sensor IC die and the cover layer.

The direct bonding interface may be a hydrophilic direct bonding interface, for example. Alternatively, the direct bonding interface may be a hydrophobic direct bonding interface. The direct bonding interface may include silicon oxynitride. The direct bonding interface may include silicon oxide, for example.

We haven’t spotted any prototypes with the said arrangement as of yet but the hunt continues. The technological hullaballoo in the transcription attached above suggests that the home button integrated into the power button will be covered with an extremely thin piece of glass or sapphire to protect the Touch ID sensor. This is, however, not the final location of the authentication chip and most reports suggest it will be embedded under the display — a perfect location for the same.

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