Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220012451) for an “elongated fingerprint sensor” that hints at Touch ID implemented directly into the display of future iPhones. Or located on the side of the device.
About the patent filing
In the patent filing, Apple says that biometric sensors may be large and consume space on surfaces of an electronic device, which reduces the area available for user interactions. This can increase the size of a device and/or decrease user experience.
Apple’s patent filing related to an electronic device that incorporates an elongated biometric input device, such as a fingerprint sensor. The sensor, per the patent filing, “may be placed along a side of the electronic device, between a front surface over a display and a back surface.”
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “An elongated biometric device provides a slim solution for capturing biometric data, and may be placed on a portion of an electronic device having limited space, such as a side of the electronic device. The elongated biometric device may include a force sensor, which may be positioned within a housing of the electronic device and actuated through posts extending from the elongated biometric device through the housing to transfer an applied force to the force sensor.”
The accompanying illustration shows a portion of a fingerprint image that could be detected by Touch ID under an iPhone screen.