Smartphone makers may finally be able to ditch the dedicated home button. A firm named Sonavation on Tuesday said it has developed a technology that can build a fingerprint reader right below Corning Gorilla Glass, which means the more than 40 brands that use Gorilla Glass won’t need to include a separate fingerprint reader if they don’t want to.
The ultrasound fingerprint reader technology developed by Sonavation “will allow manufacturers to seamlessly integrate a 3D ultrasound biometric sensor into a smartphone or IoT device making it capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys,” the company explained. “Sonavation will exclusively provide a biometric security solution platform that allows authentication despite moisture, dirt or oil that might be present on a user’s fingerprint to deliver a unique, high fidelity acoustic fingerprint signature.”
The technology seems to open the door for an iPhone without a home button, a rumor that has been floating around for a while now. Whether or not Sonvation can scale its tech to deploy in massive numbers capable of satisfying demand for flagships from Samsung and Apple is still a big question, however, and Sonavation didn’t say whether any OEMs have decided to adopt its technology. Sonavation’s CEO Karl Weintz said that the technology works on the “same cover glass shipping in top mobile handsets” today, so it’s possible we’ll see this adopted quickly.