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One mysterious new iPhone 6s feature is slowly being uncovered

Published Feb 12th, 2015 12:25PM EST
iPhone 6s Rumors: 3D Touch Display

The iPhone 6s will not be here until much later this year, but the first rumors detailing its features have already started hitting the web. A fresh report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News indicates that Apple is going to include a special 3D Touch gesture with this year’s iPhone 6s, though it doesn’t clearly explain what the feature is supposed to offer.

FROM EARLIER: One of the iPhone 6s’s first big features may have just been revealed

Apparently, 3D Touch sensors will be provided by U.S. company Avago Tech, which has also been involved in developing the gesture sensor tech behind the Wii, at least in the early development stages.

It’s not clear at this time whether this 3D Touch technology will be in anyway related to Force Touch, a new kind of gesture that Apple introduced when unveiling the Apple Watch last year. This new gesture will take the force of a touch into account and the watch will respond accordingly, rather than just sensing a finger’s presence on the display.

“In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface,” Apple explains the new UI element on one of the Apple Watch’s pages. “Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls — such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that allows you to select different watch faces — whenever you want. It’s the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch.”

It’s likely that Apple would want to bring this type of tech to more iOS devices in order to offer users a seamless experience, regardless of screen size, but that’s just educated speculation at this point.

A recent patent revealed that Apple is actively studying the inclusion of fingerprint scanners within the display, complete with support for multiple fingerprints. On a different note, Apple is also considering creating holographic displays for mobile devices at some point in the future, complete with support for multitouch gestures, a different patent has shown.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.