Could a fingerprint-reading touchscreen revolutionize the iPhone?

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Photo via kevin dooley (CC-BY)

This could change smartphones forever.

Is your Home button going the way of the Dodo? It could be if LG has anything to say about it. The company just announced a new fingerprint sensor module that doesn’t require a button; users just place their finger over the glass of their device and it will read the print. LG’s sensor fits in a 0.01 inch (0.3mm) thick space within the device itself, allowing developers to avoid having a raised space for the reader.

LG

This technology could be a game changer for a company like Apple. Analysts have speculated for years about Apple abandoning the Home button, but its importance as a security feature on Apple Pay has made that change impossible. A buttonless fingerprint reader would allow the company to keep Touch ID a major part of their platform while improving their devices. The advantages of not having the dedicated fingerprint sensor on the outside of a device are obvious, from waterproofing to allowing for more screen real estate.

As Apple’s steady iPhone sales begin to drop utilizing this technology to improve their screens while waterproofing their products and keeping the power of Touch ID could give them the boost they need to surge back after their revenues took a hit this year. LG has not announced when their new fingerprint reader technology will make its debut, so enjoy your home key while it lasts. 

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