In the recent future, Apple is looking to have a makeover for the home button they currently have on their iPhones. The latest patent they had acquired is actually titled” bulk amorphous alloy pressure sensor”, which is quite an apt name for it. This patent actually allows Apple to actually replace their previously used material with which they had manufactured their dome switches, with a new liquid metal type substance. According to the arguments put forward by Apple regarding this material, it is a much better replacement to the previously used material as it is more elastic.
At present, materials like titanium and stainless steel are used to make the home buttons. These materials are quite tough and less elastic. With the introduction of Liquid Metal as a material for home buttons, it promises to be more elastic and bounce back and reform much more quickly than stainless steel or titanium.
In the present system, the home button on being pressed touches a small metal piece placed underneath it. This contact actually completes a circuit which gets the work done. Apple, on the other hand treats this mainly like a strain gauge, rather than a button.
The actual reason for getting this patent is to create a type of touch which will take into consideration the deflection resistance, rather than the contact which occurs at present. The home button made of Liquid Metal will actually allow Apple to do exactly that by offering more flexibility and maneuverability. All in all, it would actually make the home button mechanism much simpler than it presently is.
By acquiring this patent, Apple has made a second attempt to revolutionize the home button mechanism by trying to introduce the force touch technology. Last February, Apple acquired a separate patent to use capacitance as a technology for detecting fingerprints.