New information is shedding light on how Apple’s mysterious iPhone 5S home button might work. It’s long been believed the company’s upcoming device would possess fingerprint scanning technology, and we’ve seen plenty of leaks to back those claims up. But up until now, it’s been unclear how the redesign would affect the overall experience—thanks to a new patent, the juicy details may have been spilled.
With a possible new convex design, and a carefully placed capacitive ring, Apple’s iPhone 5S will be able to read user fingerprints while eliminating accidental home button presses. The key is the sensor ring, which we may have seen in a new set of pictures of the iPhone 5S retail box. The patent itself, discovered out of Europe, describes a variety of sensors in addition to the capacitive ring, including built-in NFC.
As CultOfMac points out, Apple may use the technology for easier, more secure online purchases, which would require a bit of finesse if your thumb is constantly in contact with the home button for the fingerprint scanning tech to read your print. Just because this patent exists doesn’t mean Apple’s new iPhone 5S will come equipped with such technology, but it’s becoming harder to argue with all the recent leaks.