One thing Apple has been seriously burned by over the years is bezels. It makes devices like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus look huge in comparison to other smartphones with similar screen sizes, with the biggest issue being the home button and Touch ID sensor. However, a new patent indicates that Apple may be changing this in a future iteration of the iPhone.
In a patent that was filed by Apple last year but was published today, it shows the possibility of embedding the home button and Touch ID sensor under the display, allowing Apple to miniaturize the bezels of the iPhone.
The most accurate but least common finger-scanning technology is ultrasound imaging. In this type of sensor, two transducers are placed on the x- and y-axes of a plate of glass–one each for receiving and transmitting–for propagating ultrasound waves through a glass plate; when the finger is placed on top of the glass, the finger impedes the waves and the receiving transducer can measure the alteration in wave patterns. This type of scanner is very new and largely untested in a variety of conditions, but initial results show promise for the technology. It combines the large plate size and ease of use of the optical scanners with the ability to pervade dirt and residue on the scanner, an advantage of capacitive scanners.
While embedding the Touch ID/home button into the display is a step in the right direction, Apple still has things such as the front facing camera, ambient light sensor and the earpiece.