iPhone 8
iPhone 8 Screencap: Apple

Apple revealed its latest iPhone lineup last week, which includes the iPhone X, and now information on possible features for future smartphones are coming in.

Future iPhones (and iPads) could include front and back 3D Touch force detection, according to an Apple patent application published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, spotted by AppleInsider.

The application, called "Detecting backside force in a touch-screen device," says the backside actions with 3D Touch includes “multi-tasking application switches or content or viewport manipulation.” The new technology means future iPhones could be thinner.

Apple is looking into a “touch-screen device that may be configured to detect when a user applies force to the back side of the device,” according to the patent.

“The touch-screen device may use the backside force detection for user interaction, or may use it to prevent backside force from being interpreted as a front side force or interaction,” adds the patent.

The patent shows the 3D Touch technology could be implemented in squares or in halves on the back of a device. The photo below shows possible arrangements of force interaction on the back of the device.

iphone 3d touch
Future iPhones and iPads could have 3D Touch technology on front and back, patent shows. USPTO

The application is just an idea Apple has for future devices, and doesn’t mean it will actually go through with it. However, it does seem like it could be implemented, since the technology has already been introduced with the iPhone 6s.

Current 3D Touch technology comes with a force sensing layer on, near or beneath a device’s display glass. Smartphones detect force by measuring and mapping changes in capacitance between the cover glass and a rigid metal sensor layer integrated in the backlight.

Face ID On Future iPhones

Another feature that could be integrated into future iPhones is Face ID, which was revealed last week on the iPhone X. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the facial recognition technology could be a central part of next year’s iPhone lineup.

Apple suggested last week that it will happen. In an interview with John Gruber’s “Talk Show” last week, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi said Face ID is the next step in biometric identification, meaning the feature could be seen on future iPhones and iPads.

“This is how we as people work at authenticating each other, we identify each other, it’s the most natural thing in the world and now you interact,” he said. “And so we find, we’re all wired for that interaction to work really well and it’s extremely natural with our devices and the levels of accuracy, the level of security we’re able to achieve with it are pretty extraordinary. So, we are really excited about this as the path forward.”

Face ID unlocks the iPhone X, works with payments on Apple Pay, Animoji (Apple’s new customized animated emoji) and with third-party apps.

OLED Displays On 2018 iPhones

Beside Face ID, next year’s iPhones are expected to feature OLED display technology, like the iPhone X. Apple reportedly is planning to use OLED panels on all new models released from the second half of 2018.