Rumors are swirling that Apple is working on new touch and display driver microprocessors that could allow on-screen fingerprint scanning. Bringing the Touch ID system onto the touchscreen itself would effectively eliminate the need for a home button.
The latest rumbling came out of a DigiTimes report, and while that outlet is said to have “a poor track record” in its predictions about future Apple technology, the rumors are supported by previous interest that Apple has displayed in this area with its patent filings.
The most obvious benefit of removing the home button would be the extra space made available for a larger screen. The big screens of the iPhone 6 Plus have proven highly appealing to consumers, but with the growing importance of Apple Pay and its reliance on biometric authentication, Apple probably wouldn’t dare to remove the Touch ID system just to free up more screen space. The system purportedly in development now would resolve that dilemma.
It could also have implications for the next version of the Apple Watch, which, of course, has even less real estate available for fingerprint sensors on its hardware. Allowing for on-screen fingerprint scanning could throw open the door for Apple Pay transactions via the smartwatch, which would be a boon to both the mPayment platform and the Apple Watch.