Apple Patents: Mobile Fingerprint Scanner
Apple patent reveals fingerprint scanner merged into device bezel.
Of all the rumors concerning Apple's iPhone series, the built-in biometric fingerprint scanner has been hanging around for two of the phone's generations now. The same holds true for the next upcoming iPhone(s), as some even believe the device is being delayed in order for this next-gen security measure to be implemented. Regardless of the rumors, we know that Apple has filed a patent for a fingerprint scanner, which, remembering that in late 2012 the company bought security specialist company AuthenTech, means that we can confidently expect this feature from Apple some time in the future.
Other companies have already looked into and produced phones with fingerprint scanners, such as reports of Samsung developing it for their upcoming Galaxy phones, or the Motorola Atrix, which already has one built in. But this Apple patent appears to be more about the integration and design of the system, as opposed to the technology itself (which Apple didn't invent in the first place). By structurally merging the sensor die into the bezel of the device, it allows for the sensor to be protected and the aesthetics of the device to remain mostly unblemished. The location of this merging is still the subject of speculation that varies from the side of the device to the top (such as the Motorola Atrix), to some believing it will even be incorporated into the rumored capacitive home button itself. Whatever the final decision, we are interested to see what Apple, and every other company, does with this technology, and how they are going to outdo each other when all of this becomes standardized.