Fingerprint scanning has looked like a dead cert for the next iPhone for a long time. But until today at least it was thought it would be located under the home button. Or maybe under the screen as part of the iPhone's familiar slide-to-unlock mechanism.
An Apple’s patent filing uncovered by PatentlyApple tells a different story, though. It now looks like it’s the bezel (that’s the thin strip that nestles around the screen) that will house the security technology.
According to the filing, the bezel has been chosen over other areas of the phone because it protects the biometic sensor better. This, it seems, overrides concerns that it could cause the kind of unsightly bulge that we imagine Jonathan Ive has nightmares about.
Patently Apple explains: “By encasing both the bezel and the sensor die in the encapsulation structure, the elements may be brought closer together than otherwise possible.
“In addition, the encapsulation structure physically protects the bezel and sensor die, and in particular maintains the spacing there between in a fashion that isn't possible by currently known device designs.”
Apple is believed to be incorporating the fingerprint tech to add an extra layer of security to credit card payments and generally make things harder for sticky-fingered smartphone thieves.
Industry-watchers believe the security will also make its way to the future iterations of the iPad mini and standard iPad, as well as the much-rumoured iWatch.