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Future iPhones may take cues from… old BlackBerrys?

Apple iPhone iPad Touch ID Trackpad

When BGR reviewed the iPhone 5s last month, we found the Touch ID to be a bit lacking. It had plenty of potential, but failed to offer any meaningful additions to the device. The future of Touch ID remains uncertain, but a patent that was made public last Thursday gives us a pretty good idea of just how Apple plans to capitalize on the potential of what currently amounts to not much more than a half-baked extra security measure.

Unwired View has summarized the patent published on the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) website, revealing several major evolutions Apple plans to introduce to Touch ID in upcoming hardware. The iPhone and iPad were designed from the ground up to be exclusively touch-controlled devices, although in the patent Apple alludes to turning the fingerprint sensor into a full BlackBerry-style trackpad, giving iOS users a new way to control their phones and tablets. Unwired View notes that having a trackpad built into the Home button would make one-handed usage of Apple’s rumored larger devices much more viable.

Apple also mentions upgrading its displays to include Touch ID technology, giving the entire screen the ability to recognize a user’s fingerprints. Individual apps could take advantage of this enhancement as well, such as email, banking and photo apps that might benefit from secure access. Users could also create their own unique gestures, as the screen would be able to recognize each and every finger on the user’s hands.

Apple rumors appear daily, but on the scale from preposterous to feasible, an upgraded Touch ID seems well within the realm of possibility.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.