Pretty soon, there could be a little bit of the Terminator in every single iPhone.
Don’t panic, Siri isn’t turning into SkyNet; instead, Apple could be looking at using liquid metal to add some clever new tech to TouchID.
It has just been granted a patent for a liquid metal home button, which would replace the titanium and stainless steel switch used now.
The new material would be better at repeatedly bumping and bouncing back to its original state, and could even make the home button pressure sensitive.
That could mean the next iPhone will have Force Touch on its home button as well as the display – although there’s no clue where this would work in iOS.
It’s not clear right now whether Apple will be doing its own thing, or will be buying off-the-shelf alloys. Or if the tech will make its way into a phone at all.
Normally patents take a while to appear in finished products, but Apple has been known to keep them held back until very close to launch to avoid spoilers and surprises leaking out ahead of time. That could mean it could make a first appearance in the iPhone 7.
We’ll know for sure later in the year; the iPhone 7 is still expected to get a full reveal in September.