AuthenTec, a company bought by Apple to power its Touch ID sensor, has filed a patent called "Electronic Device Switchable to a User-Interface Unlocked Mode Based Upon a Pattern of Input Motions and Related Methods".
This translates into "Enhanced lock screen patterns" and could soon help you make your iPhone more secure.
The patent describes how users can unlock their phone using a digital combination lock on the iPhone screen. The Touch ID sensor will be able to pick up the user's input motions to unlock the device.
The patent goes on to describe another example input method. It looks like a traditional swipe pattern that we're used to. But instead of swiping on the screen, you'll be able to swipe your finger across the Touch ID button to unlock the phone.
It's thought the "Smart Sensor" technology within the home button could be used for more complex uses in the future, such as an optical joystick and fast scrolling.
The iPhone 6 range already takes advantage of the Touch ID's increased motion response with the "Reachability" feature that allows users to double tap the home button to make the screen smaller.
[Source: Apple Insider]