iPhone 8 Patent Leak: Virtual Home Button, Fingerprint Sensor Revealed [IMAGES]

iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor patent
Apple patent for virtual home button and embedded fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 8. USPTO

Earlier this week, Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo reported the next iPhone will deliver a new edge-to-edge display, where the earpiece, selfie camera, home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor are all concealed beneath the screen. Now, a patent filing reveals exactly how Apple intends to make it happen.

A haptic home button on a display is nothing new, but it's interesting to see how Apple's design will intergrate a fingerprint scanner behind the new OLED display as well. Apple provided the following description for its new design:

"A capacitive fingerprint sensor, including: a dielectric structure having a contact surface and a sensor surface; an array of capacitive sensing elements held on or near the sensor surface of the dielectric structure; and an electrostatic lens formed within the dielectric structure."

As the description and the accompanying diagrams suggest, the design utilizes capacitive sensing technology embedded behind the display. An electrostatic lens across the sensing elements pick up the pattern of the user's fingerprint. 

Check out the diagrams from the Apple capacitive fingerprint sensor patent below:

iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor patent
Apple patent for virtual home button and embedded fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 8. Photo: USPTO
iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor patent
Apple patent for virtual home button and embedded fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 8. Photo: USPTO
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