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Apple in plans to ditch home button for 'virtual button'

Apple is working to introduce a finger-print scanner beneath the screen of iPhone, ditching the iconic physical home button, a recently published patent has revealed.
The patent filed by the Apple will be using LuxVue’s micro-LED-based display technology to detect the finger’s position and scan its surface to read out a fingerprint.

“When the fingerprint is placed upon the transparent substrate, the sensing IR diodes within the display panel sense patterned IR light reflected off grooves of the fingerprint surface. This patterned IR light is relayed to the output processor as a bitmap where it is processed to determine the fingerprint surface’s unique pattern. Because the display panel can sense IR light, the display panel is able to perform surface profile determination when the display panel is not emitting visible light,” Apple wrote in a description of the patent.

Mobile devices generally comes with a capacitive touchscreen layer, which respond to a change in capacitance when a finger touches the screen. While the technology highlighted by Apple in the patent will use an array of LED sensors housed within the display to function as both capacitive touchscreen and a fingerprint sensor.

“The ability to detect an object’s surface profile while the display panel is not emitting visible light enables the display panel to detect a user’s fingerprint to unlock a mobile device such as a cellphone when the display panel appears to be off. Accordingly, the display panel need not emit visible light to detect a surface profile of an object, nor does the display panel require a separate sensor to detect the surface profile of an object,” Apple wrote.


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