Synaptics has announced a new fingerprint scanning technology (FS9100) which enables fingerprints to be scanned through a display screen.

The new FS9100 Sensor is capable of reading a fingerprint through a 1mm thick glass display. This would mean that hardware designers no longer needed to allocate a separate area, upon which fingers needed to be placed in order to be scanned. In a quote from synaptics it seems they think this one less reason for a dedicated home button on the next generation iPhone.

Synaptics’ FS9100 family of fingerprint sensors represent a new breed of optical fingerprint sensor technology that is designed to meet the needs of mobile devices, including the ability to image through thick 2.5D glass. In addition to opening the door to new industrial design options, it enables OEMs to provide highly durable, button-free cover glass and more easily provide water resistant products while eliminating low yield glass processing.

No doubt apple already has its own designs and patents on the subject, however this third party announcement does raise a question around the next iPhone not having a home button. I personally wouldn’t like this change as when things don’t go to plan and your phone locks up, its always nice to have an actual button you can press, even with it does nothing!

If the rumors are true then hidden behind the sleek glass display of the iPhone 8 will be a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, camera, light sensor, and the phones earpiece and microphone’s, entirely eliminating the existing lower home button strip and top speaker strip allowing for an iPhone that looks like a single piece of glass.

Other rumors at the moment suggest that the iPhone 8 might be made entirely of glass, however this is a bit of a long shot! My personal favourites are a low power high resolution OLED display the obvious upgrade to the faster A11 processor and most likely would be the current android only feature of wireless charging.