Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rumored iPhone 5S packaging shows silver ring 'fingerprint sensor' around home button

We're just days away from Apple's September 10th iPhone event, and the last minute leaks appear to be starting. Chinese site C Technology has published photos of what is claimed to be the iPhone 5S packaging. Although the photos appear to confirm the iPhone 5S name, and similar design to the iPhone 5, they also depict a mysterious silver ring around the traditional home button. Fox News anchor Clayton Morris previously claimed that the upcoming iPhone 5S would "have a silver ring around it" in an interview last month, while also noting the button is convex to make way for an embedded fingerprint sensor.

An iPhone 5S fingerprint reader has long been rumored, and alleged images of the sensor leaked earlier this week. The images appear to show an iPhone home button with metal parts around the edges. Apple's own September 10th iPhone invite also includes likely hints at a fingerprint sensor. An image accompanying the invite includes colorful circles and several silver rings. It's still not confirmed that the next iPhone will include a fingerprint sensor on the home button, but it's looking increasingly likely. 

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.

With the rumors of the iPhone 5s' fingerprint sensor becoming more truth than myth, it poses the question of what some case manufacturers are going to do with this.  Specifically Otterbox and Lifeproof.  Both of these companies have set themselves apart from others as having cases that provide considerable protection for your iPhone while protecting the home button as well.  This fingerprint sensor to unlock the new iPhone 5s will prove a huge problem for both companies.  How will they keep their image of being the sealed in case companies while also allowing you to use your fingerprint to unlock your phone? It is rumored that the fingerprint sensor to unlock is optional but then that takes away a huge benefit of owning a iPhone 5s.  If either company is unable to engineer a solution, those wanting to upgrade to a iPhone 5s but also need a Defender Otterbox or Lifeproof case because of their profession or lifestyle, you may want to go to the iPhone 5 or wait to see what will come with the iPhone 6(?) next year.  


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