5s fingerprint

One of the big new features in the upcoming iPhone 5S, Apple’s next generation smartphone, is expected to be a built-in fingerprint sensor. To be fair, we’ve yet to see any evidence of this, but reports have been consistent over past 6 months.

Up until now, most folks have presumed that if Apple were to outfit its handset with such a sensor, that it would build it into the Home button. But according to a new patent filing from the company, it could build it right into the display…

AppleInsider has discovered a new patent application from Apple regarding in-display fingerprint sensor tech. The app was first filed back in January of this year, but was just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this morning.

“Apple’s sensor patent details a technology that can not only fit into a mobile device like an iPhone, but can “read” biometric characteristics of a finger from distances larger than existing methods afford…

…The patent language notes the fingerprint sensor can be stacked with, or part of, an LCD display. As such, the sensor can also be used as a means of input, and can also be used in conjunction with other circuitry to support selection function, provide tactile feedback, or power up a device. Of note, the document points out that the sensor array can be either rigid or flexible, meaning mounting options are vast.”

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the app, which is titled “Finger sensor having pixel sensing circuitry for coupling electrodes and pixel sensing traces and related methods,” credits AuthenTec co-founder Dale R. Setlak as its inventor.


Remember, Apple purchased AuthenTec, an expert in NFC, smart and fingerprint sensors, last summer for a cool $356 million. And this is, as AppleInsider notes, one of the first patent applications with tech from the company assigned to it.

Also interesting is the fact that Setlak’s LinkedIn profile shows that he is now an engineer for the company at its offices in Melbourne, Florida. In April, Apple was looking for a software engineer for this office to help with ‘hardware integration.’

As we mentioned on this week’s Let’s Talk Jailbreak, we have our fingers crossed that this year’s iPhone features a fingerprint sensor. We don’t care how they do it, we just hope they do it. The handset is expected to launch sometime this fall.

  • Evangeloz Tsalikidis

    is anyone else still double-tapping the home button in iOS 7 for music controls on the lockscreen?

    • Kartik Dhawan

      Me XD,

      I still think Auxo was better o.0

    • inzist

      Haha yeah, it happens alot when im in a hurry. 🙂

    • Joseph A. Ahmad

      It doesn’t allow me to double tap for music controls, at least in beta 3. If I have music playing, the controls are automatically there when I lock and wake the phone. But to actually begin playing music from the lock screen, it would appear I have to slide up to reveal control center, and press play on the music controls in there. I don’t know if this will be fixed, or if it’s just an isolated incident for me. Can anyone else confirm?

    • Matthew Black

      Yes! I don’t like that the music controls are always on when music is playing!

  • CPVideoMaker101

    Thus the physical home button is saved.

  • Rowan09

    I like a physical home button, as a phone technician it’s easier to just replace the home button instead of taking off the glass to remove the strip below the glass on most droids. Samsung now see the purpose of a physical home button.

    • Prasoon Singh

      Samsung is probably the only one in the android market to have a physical home button.

      • Rowan09

        That’s true and I mentioned them because its a two headed race in the smartphone field.

  • Xee

    1. That is a giant finger print!
    2. I hate the home button. Keep thinking it will die at some point and it takes up too much space which could be used for a bigger screen. So I use jailbreak tweaks to limit my use of the home button.
    3. If Apple has only just put the patent in recently its unlikely to be included in the 5s and this late stage right? Although if it is delayed they could add the bigger screen and finger print sensor under the screen…

  • Gorgonphone

    ji dont even care anymore..