There are rumors that Apple iPhone 8 will ship with an OLED display screen, rumors that have been fueled by the alleged pre-order that Cupertino has made to Samsung Display involving the supply of about 160 million panels.
Apparently, the introduction of the new OLED panels will see Apple make a few sacrifices with respect the iPhone 8. One major one would be to ditch the physical home button in favor of an on-screen button. While this is nothing new to the Android fraternity, with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ touted to take the same direction as well, the question that many are asking is that where does this change leave the famous Touch ID?
As it appears, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has some answers for you. Just this day, the office has granted Apple a patent that fits the bill when it comes to eliminating the physical home button. Cupertino has plans to use a display screen that can read one’s fingerprint, thus meaning that the Touch ID could find a new home under the OLED display screen. This is, however new it might sound to Apple iPhone fans, is somehow already in use over at Android, with the Xiaomi Mi 5S and 5S Plus shipping with what the company calls Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, although this still comes with what looks like a button.
Apple is expected to integrate the Touch ID into the display screen and with this patent, it seems the iPhone 8 could be the one to debut this type of fingerprint scanner on the iPhone. The patent, which has the title “Interactive display panel with IR diodes”, gives out all details of a display screen that takes advantage of microLED-sensing tech instead of the mainstream active matrix hardware that is used by most OEMs.
This new technology comes with smaller infrared light emitters and sensors that will take the places of the larger capacitive sensors. These new formations can easily be calibrated in order to perform different functions, including proximity detection, ambient light sensing as well as complex touch detection, something that Apple wants to utilize with the Touch ID. Unlike what Xiaomi did with the Mi 5S, the entire iPhone 8 display would still be able to scan a user’s finger. It is also possible that Apple could choose to locate a virtual home button on the display screen at one point and make it possible to scan the finger from there.
You can read more about this patent on Apple Insider. Meanwhile, would you mind having an iPhone 8 that has no Touch ID or rather physical home button? Let us know in the comments below.