Apple has some new ‘exciting’ ideas about how to unlock your phone.
The iPhone maker has been granted a patent for a new Touch ID method that would allow users to place their finger anywhere on the device’s screen to unlock it.
It’s possible that this feature could arrive in Apple’s next iPhone, which is slated to launch in September.
The patent, which was first discovered by Patently Apple, is titled ‘Methods of Biometric Imaging of Input Surfaces’ and was filed in September 2016, but was only made public on Tuesday.
It describes a new system where the fingerprint reader is embedded into the front-facing display.
By placing their finger on the screen, users would be able to unlock their iPhone, make payments and enter passwords just by touching the screen.
The patent also notes that Apple is exploring the possibility of the sensors recognizing users ears or cheeks to unlock.
This differs from the traditional Touch ID system, which Apple rolled out first in the iPhone 5S.
Touch ID works by placing a fingerprint reader underneath the home button, located on a chin at the bottom of the device.
Since then, Apple’s newer iPhone models have embraced the edge-to-edge display design, which ditched the home button for gesture-based controls, as well as Face ID, its facial recognition technology.
This new form of Touch ID would allow Apple to maintain the bezel-less screen design used in current phones by letting users unlock their device by touching anywhere on the display.
In the patent, it describes an acoustic imaging system that’s used to capture a user’s fingerprint.
As Gizmodo pointed out, this is believed to be more accurate than other types of fingerprint sensors, like optical scanners, which essentially takes a photo of a user’s fingerprint to use for reference.
Acoustic imaging systems capture high-res texture maps of an object, so that it can pick up on tiny details, like the ridges in a fingerprint, as well as other unique identifiers like scars, Gizmodo noted.
Apple wouldn’t be the first to release a device with this technology.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 uses an in-display fingerprint reader, as does the Huawei Mate 20 and the OnePlus 6T.