It seems like the rumors of an iPhone 8 with an edge-to-edge screen, no Home Button and TouchID integrated into the display are getting to the point where that are looking less like rumors, and more like legitimate leaks. Apple has now been awarded a patent for technology covering a fingerprint sensor integrated into a screen for authentication.
See below for the technical jargon:
Where a fingerprint sensor is integrated into an electronic device or host device, for example, as noted above, it may be desirable to more quickly perform authentication, particularly while performing another task or an application on the electronic device. In other words, in some instances it may be undesirable to have a user perform an authentication in a separate authentication step, for example switching between tasks to perform the authentication.
You can check out the entire submission here.
Bear in mind that Apple has been known to patent every idea or feature that even gets considered, so not every one they are awarded ends up in a device that sees the light of day. If you ever want to kill some time going down a rabbit hole, head over to Patently Apple and take a look around. There are a LOT of interesting things from over the years that we will never see realized archived there.
On the other hand, in this case Apple has applied for at least three patents related to this same technology, so there is a little bit too much smoke here for there to be no fire. This is good, because for all the issues with Siri, Apple Maps, and iCloud at launch, TouchID has been a rock solid and reliable feature from day one on the iPhone 5S. As cool as having an integrated TouchID sensor sounds, it will only be so if it works as well or better than what we are used to. The trick is, what we are used to right now on the iPhone 6S and 7 is pretty hard to beat.
Are you looking forward to an integrated TouchID sensor (or better yet, the screen that will come along with it)? Let us know what you think in the comments.