iPhone panel providers -- just unveiled their newest 3.5-inch, 320 x 480 pixel resolution multi-touch panel which does what its predecessor did in just half the thickness. The new 1-mm depth was achieved by integrating the optical sensor into each pixel while incorporating scanning functionality for fingerprint authentication or barcode and business card scanning. Right, with the appropriate underlying software of course. Sharp expects to adapt the new technology to multi-touch, glass panels as large as 12.1-inches. Sample LCDs will be made available in September before mass production beings in the Spring of 2008.
Update: Whoa, reader Tony C just reminded us of this Apple patent application. Sure, the jump from scanning business cards to having your screen become the webcam is pretty big. Still, it's not as crazy as it once sounded, eh?