San Jose, California-based Synaptics created the first touchpad adopted by Apple and Dell, and today its products are used in ASUS tablets and the new Google Pixel phone from Alphabet. It now develops touchscreens, biosensors and fingerprint scanners that are used in everyday products from smartphones and tablets to PCs.
The Pixel, which released in October, is a hybrid of standard home buttons and the future of touch technology. It features a physical fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone but an onscreen home button.
Apple iPhones have long held on to the home button, but its elimination of the headphone jack earlier this year prompted speculation that it could do the same with the button. Apple might even be preparing users for this transition, according to Recode. The iPhone 7 features a home button that uses new technology to give the impression of being pushed down even though it does not actually depress. But Apple's core philosophy has also showed resistance to moving too much to touch. Its new MacBook Pro has a new Touch Bar rather than an onscreen touch functionality now common on PCs.
LG is preparing for the buttonless future. In May the company announced it has developed technology that will hide a smartphone's home button and fingerprint sensor under glass. The elimination of an obvious sensor on the front of the phone will allow for a sleek design, LG said.