It appears that Apple’s Touch ID sensor may get expanded functionality in the future, if we’re to believe a bunch of new patents uncovered out there. A set of patent applications found this week show that Apple’s Touch ID could be integrated into displays in the future.
It’s also supposed to be used some sort of touchpad or scroll wheel in tandem with some apps. For example, the sensor can be used as a touchpad while playing with a maps app. This way, using the Home button and Touch ID sensor of an iPhone 5s will allow you to scroll through a map, much like the touchpad on a MacBook.
The patents also show ways of integrating the Touch ID into a touchscreen and sensing each of the fingers separately, relating them to a variety of apps and features. Then the patents move into check ins and mobile payments, plus document and photo authorizations via the same system. Finally, the documents detail the ability to use the Touch ID sensor and its surrounding area as a scroll wheel like on the original iPod.
How cool would that be?