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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 68 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's invention covering an alternative Touch ID mechanism designed for next-gen iDevices that will have larger displays by eliminating the traditional Home Button.


Granted Patent: An Alternative Touch ID Button Location


Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to the field of electronics, and, more particularly, to the field of finger sensors. In this Apple patent we see illustrated for the first time a unique alternative Touch ID button location as an alternative to the classic Home Button.



Apple notes in their patent that "Because the finger biometric sensor assembly #30 is smaller than prior art finger biometric sensor assemblies, the finger biometric sensor assembly may located where real-estate has been limited, for example, along a thin side of the housing #21.


In Apple's patent FIG. 8 illustrated above we're able to see the finger biometric sensor assembly #30 is illustratively carried along a perimeter of the housing #21 of the electronic device #20''. In particular, the finger biometric sensor assembly may be carried by an input device #24', e.g., power button, along the relative thin edge of the housing. This may allow for the display #23 to be larger, for example.


The finger sensor is carried by the pushbutton switch #24 so that when a user contacts and/or presses downward on the pushbutton switch, finger biometric data from the user's finger is acquired, for example, for finger matching and/or finger enrollment to be stored and later used for matching.


The finger biometric sensor assembly cooperates with the processor to perform at least one of a finger biometric enrollment and authentication function. Based upon the authentication, for example, a successful authentication, the processor may perform any number of operations, including, for example, security functions, opening or starting an application, a menu function, etc. The processor may cooperate with the finger biometric sensor assembly to perform other functions.


Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q2 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The application number is noted as 14/741,831.


Apple has other Touch ID alternative designs related to having the sensors beneath an iDevice display here and here. It's unknown at this time which final design Apple will choose for their upcoming iPhone 8 or iPhone X. 


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