Apple iPhone 7 to Include Pressure-Sensitive Home Button: Reports

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-08-09 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: As iPhone 7 debut approaches, pressure-sensitive home button rumored; Walmart bets $3.3 billion on young e-commercer; FTC commissioner looking for hackers' help with consumer privacy; and there's more.


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Today's topics include the latest rumors about the iPhone 7’s design, Walmart’s $3.3 billion buyout offer for e-commerce site, the FTC Commissioner’s call for hackers to help improve privacy and security, and Google and Facebook’s partnership to develop a new Open Rack data center standard.

The latest iPhone 7 rumors, which come in advance of the expected September launch of Apple's upcoming smartphone model, indicate the handsets could have pressure-sensitive "haptic" home buttons that respond to varying amounts of finger pressure to control functions.

Haptic touch capabilities that are already built into other Apple products, such as the MacBook Pro laptops, will be one of several new features included in the new iPhones, according to an Aug. 8 report by Bloomberg, which was based on reports from sources who are familiar with the details.

Also coming are dual main cameras on a larger iPhone 7 model and the deletion of the familiar headphone jack, both of which were also mentioned in previous rumor reports as well.

The new phones will include "more advanced photography capabilities and upgraded hardware in a design similar to that of last year's models," the sources told Bloomberg.

Walmart, which remains the world's largest bricks-and-mortar retailer hasn't been able to mount a serious challenge to, the world's largest online retailer.

Thus in an effort to jump-start its e-commerce business to compete with Amazon, Walmart on Aug. 8 took a major gamble on a new-generation web retailer and bought the company for $3.3 billion in cash and stock.

It was the largest acquisition on record of an e-commerce company in the two decades that people have been buying merchandise online.

Terrell McSweeny, commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, got a somewhat unique introduction at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 5.

When McSweeny was introduced to a large audience, the FTC was described as a federal agency that many in the hacker community actually really like.

"I'm really interested in protecting consumer privacy and data security," she said. The increasing rise of connected devices, commonly referred to as the internet of things, is also top of mind for McSweeny. She called on the security experts attending DefCon to help.

"We can't solve all the challenges that are going to be confronting consumers in a hyperconnected environment without a lot of partnerships, particularly with the security researcher community," McSweeny said.

Google and Facebook are fierce rivals with a common challenge: how to fit as much processing power into their data centers as possible to meet the always-growing demand for more capacity while keeping down the power and operational costs that come with adding servers.

To address the issue, the two hyperscale players have looked beyond their fierce competition for online advertising to work together on a new standard that could help each company in the data center.

Google and Facebook worked together in the Open Compute Project to develop what they're calling the Open Rack v2.0 standard, which officials with both said will increase the performance and efficiency in their data centers.

The two companies will present the standard at the OCP Engineering Workshop Aug. 10 at the University in New Hampshire with hope of getting it accepted as a standard.


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