iDevice enthusiasts could potentially look forward to a new bezel-free iPhone, which will also be buttonless!

If a recent patent from Apple is anything to go on, the Cupertino company has big plans up its sleeve for the next-gen smartphone to help the future iPhone leapfrog ahead of the competition.

According to Apple's patent dubbed "Man-machine interface for controlling access to electronic devices," the company is considering a radical redesign of the iPhone that will basically remove the physical home button, which is used for TouchID as well.

The patent in question was filed by the company on March 5, 2015, and Apple was awarded the patent on May 17, 2016. The patent details the "ultrasound imaging" method, which will enable Apple to embed the fingerprint-scanning ability of the TouchID inside the iPhone's display.

"The most accurate but least common finger-scanning technology is ultrasound imaging. In this type of sensor, two transducers are placed on the x- and y-axes of a plate of glass — one each for receiving and transmitting — for propagating ultrasound waves through a glass plate; when the finger is placed on top of the glass, the finger impedes the waves and the receiving transducer can measure the alteration in wave patterns," notes the patent.

Therefore, if Apple were to implement the innovative technology the patent describes, it would make for a quicker and precise reading when compared to the existing TouchID sensor. The ultrasound imaging technology would essentially allow one's fingerprint to be read without any fuss when placed on the device's screen.

The technology would negate the need for the existing physical home button, which occupies plenty of space on the smartphone. As a result, the screen of the handset would automatically occupy more space.

The fact that the home button's features can already be replicated with ease will not be a hurdle either.

With the entire screen becoming a fingerprint sensor if Apple's patent bears fruition, users will possibly be able to unlock the iPhone by pretty much pressing anywhere on the display.

However, plenty of Apple patents do not see the light of day and remain confined to mere paper approval. Therefore, it is doubtful if we will indeed see an iPhone that lacks a physical home button and uses the display as the fingerprint scanner instead.

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

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