Force Touch as Apple's Future Home Button

zaneliu94

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Jul 29, 2012
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I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but as I was reading and thinking about force touch eventually joining the iPhone line up I realized that apple could easily one implement the force touch screen as a home button. Completely relinquishing the need for a physical button. Force touch can do everything a home button can aside from the Touch ID. But we know apple is working towards a Touch ID beneath the screen. This will be something many years from now but still! How exciting!
 
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BeeGood

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I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but as I was reading and thinking about force touch eventually joining the iPhone line up I realized that apple could easily one implement the force touch screen as a home button. Completely relinquishing the need for a physical button. Force touch can do everything a home button can aside from the Touch ID. But we know apple is working towards a Touch ID beneath the screen. This will be something many years from now but still! How exciting!
There was a thread on removing the bezels a while back and someone mentioned this as a way to do it.

My $0.02 is you can't do it unless you make the entire screen sapphire. Also, isn't Touch ID taking a super hi res image of your finger each time? I'm not sure how you scale that out to the whole screen, but this would be great if possible.
 

zaneliu94

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Why would the entire screen need to be made of sapphire? I mean apple wa a obviously already working towards that on their iPhones but  watch sport has ion x and works fine with force touch.

I'm not sure of the technical side of Touch ID behind the screen but I know it's something people would love and that interest certainly interests Apple as well. Qualcomm uses a separate technology that could work under the screen so I feel like Apple would be pursuing something as well
 
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BeeGood

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Why would the entire screen need to be made of sapphire? I mean apple wa a obviously already working towards that on their iPhones but  watch sport has ion x and works fine with force touch.

I'm not sure of the technical side of Touch ID behind the screen but I know it's something people would love and that interest certainly interests Apple as well. Intel uses a separate technology that could work under the screen so I feel like Apple would be pursuing something as well
It would have to be sapphire for the same reason the home button and the Apple Watch face is completely sapphire. It's highly scratch resistant. Even tiny scratches on the screen could render TouchID useless, and I would hope Apple wouldn't release a product that will cease working through normal wear and tear.

Not familiar with what Intel is doing, but if they can find an economical way to make it work everywhere on a very scratch resistant screen, then maybe this can work.
 
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zaneliu94

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Jul 29, 2012
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It would have to be sapphire for the same reason the home button and the Apple Watch face is completely sapphire. It's highly scratch resistant. Even tiny scratches on the screen could render TouchID useless, and I would hope Apple wouldn't release a product that will cease working through normal wear and tear.

Not familiar with what Intel is doing, but if they can find an economical way to make it work everywhere on a very scratch resistant screen, then maybe this can work.
Oh I see! I was thinking home button instead of touch ID. Nice catch.

And I just realized I meant Qualcomm not Intel:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/qualcomm-sense-id-touch-id,28660.html

The only immediate issue I can think of the is the ergonomics of not having as much tactility when you press glass. That may make it a bit awkward
 

BeeGood

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That looks and sounds pretty slick, especially the part about it being able to work through metal and I'm assuming gloves as well.

I'd be interested to see how accurate it is compared to TouchID. In the short year and a half that we've had touchID, I've grown to depend on it working every time. Hopefully this is just as good.
 

AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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That looks and sounds pretty slick, especially the part about it being able to work through metal and I'm assuming gloves as well.

I'd be interested to see how accurate it is compared to TouchID. In the short year and a half that we've had touchID, I've grown to depend on it working every time. Hopefully this is just as good.
That's why I think this might be a ways off. TouchID is just so good. They probably won't replace it until they have a foolproof replacement.
 

MICHAELSD

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Jul 13, 2008
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I do like this idea. Less bezel = bigger screen in similar footprint! I could go for a 6"+ screen on a future Plus model.
 

meistervu

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Jul 24, 2008
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It would have to be sapphire for the same reason the home button and the Apple Watch face is completely sapphire. It's highly scratch resistant. Even tiny scratches on the screen could render TouchID useless
Why? I am sure matching software can take scratches into consideration. Matching is not absolute to begin with: How hard to press your finger will change the size of the fingerprint.
 

BeeGood

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Why? I am sure matching software can take scratches into consideration. Matching is not absolute to begin with: How hard to press your finger will change the size of the fingerprint.
I've seen a few articles/videos about how the TouchID sensor fails more frequently after the lens is scratched. Just google touchID scratches and you'll find a few.
 

JCCL

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Apr 3, 2010
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What about removing the home button, replace with force touch, and putting Touch ID in the back a around where people normally put their index finger? Does anyone think that would work?
 

Harmonious Zen

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May 18, 2013
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What about removing the home button, replace with force touch, and putting Touch ID in the back a around where people normally put their index finger? Does anyone think that would work?
Would force touch even be feasible in a phone? It requires more components and a phone is much thinner than a laptop.
 

ApfelKuchen

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Aug 28, 2012
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I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but as I was reading and thinking about force touch eventually joining the iPhone line up I realized that apple could easily one implement the force touch screen as a home button. Completely relinquishing the need for a physical button. Force touch can do everything a home button can aside from the Touch ID. But we know apple is working towards a Touch ID beneath the screen. This will be something many years from now but still! How exciting!
Tactile feedback is useful when the degree of force is a determining factor, which is why Apple's making a big deal over the Taptic Engine in the watch and new trackpads. If the entire display was capable of providing that feedback, Force Touch is just the tip of the iceberg. Tactile feedback when typing, simulating textures for various reasons... those will be the headline stories when full-screen tactile is available.

One thing Force Touch may not do well is a hard reset (hold power and home buttons until Apple logo appears). The use of mechanical switches for both power and home means the system can be reset/restarted without the device having "higher brain function." A system dependent upon a functioning display assembly reduces the number of states the device can be in and still be reset-capable. (The two-button reset is a kind of fail-safe, to be sure a casual button press doesn't reset the device.)

Also, the home button is a wake-from-sleep. Integrating wake-from-sleep into the display is an invitation to battery drain, both for accidental "wakes" and needing to keep the display in a higher state during sleep.

Now, there are undoubtedly ways around these issues, and no doubt Apple's solutions would be far more elegant than any I could cook up, but they're not trivial matters to overcome at a comparable cost.
 

mtneer

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Sep 15, 2012
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Will force touch work on a phone as well as it does on a laptop? A laptop will be placed on a table or something immobile; providing a lot of resistance. On a handheld phone - wouldn't our hands just "give" when a force is applied and thus confuse the force metering? Wonder how that would work.
 

MykullMyerz

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2006
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Washington, D.C.
"...but it's not clear whether it's the actual fingerprint data that is stored, or a hash of it, like Apple's Touch ID..."

Can someone explain to me what it means when the iPhone stores a hash of a fingerprint instead of the actual fingerprint?
 

meistervu

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Jul 24, 2008
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"...but it's not clear whether it's the actual fingerprint data that is stored, or a hash of it, like Apple's Touch ID..."

Can someone explain to me what it means when the iPhone stores a hash of a fingerprint instead of the actual fingerprint?
It means the iPhone convert the finger print to a set of data, which could be a single number representation, or multiple numbers. For example your fingerprint may be stored as 1234567890 . The next time you scan your finger print, if the scan translates to 1234567890 then it is a match.

The advantage is that the actual print only exists temporarily while the identification is being computed. Once computed, it is erased.
 

GordonGekko999

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
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What do you mean you don't like it? It's my understanding that it feels very similar to a traditional trackpad.
That is exactly what I read from many people here and nearly all of the professional early reviews. Granted I was using a Best Buy display Macbook Pro and I did not have the time to fully change the settings, not even sure if you can on a display setup.

Anyway sometimes the click would sound and feel close to a tradtional Macbook Pro trackpad, other times it was not even close and it just felt off, there were times the cursor movement was not as smooth as the traditional trackpad.
 

afsnyder

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Jan 7, 2014
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That is exactly what I read from many people here and nearly all of the professional early reviews. Granted I was using a Best Buy display Macbook Pro and I did not have the time to fully change the settings, not even sure if you can on a display setup.

Anyway sometimes the click would sound and feel close to a tradtional Macbook Pro trackpad, other times it was not even close and it just felt off, there were times the cursor movement was not as smooth as the traditional trackpad.
Perhaps you may have just needed to change some settings. I have my tracking speed up a fair bit and that would cause it to be sluggish. But perhaps it might need additional software tweaks from Apple's end before it feels right.
 

Kyotoma

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Nov 11, 2010
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Carnegie and Ontario
As a fellow iFixer, I hope they include it in such a way that makes the iPhone extremely simple to disassemble. The current method they have for this would be a nightmare if someone needed to get into the device to replace a screen/battery/camera/home button/anything.

Just my fix-first-replace-later logic.