With the rumors encircling the Apple‘s impending flagship smartphone, the iPhone 8, including a narrower bezel, an OLED screen display-equipped model and wireless charging capability, perhaps the very interesting of them all has just emerged. Bloomberg reports that Cupertino-based technology giant is working on 3D face recognition tech that it will use to let you securely unlock the next iteration iPhone.
The new feature will be supported by a new 3D sensor, along with an iris scanner; as with the fingerprint-based Touch ID system, you’ll be able to use it to unlock your smartphone, confirm and authenticate payments and log in to secure apps.
Currently in testing, the 3D face scanner is reported to be able to accurately detect a face and unlock the device within a few hundred milliseconds, and even works like a magic when the device is laid on a flat surface. But it will have to work a lot better than Samsung’s effort seen in the Galaxy S8, which a group of German hackers were able to fool, using a printed photograph.
This feature could mark a milestone in the evolution of the iOS-powered devices, as it might rescind the need for the fingerprint-based Touch ID, which was first introduced on the iPhone 5s dating back in 2013.
But will the face scanning actually make it to the next generation iPhone? KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s usually on the ball with predictions about Apple predictions, supported the Bloomberg’s report as he also believes that the OLED display-equipped model will include the feature in lieu of a fingerprint Touch ID system.
Meanwhile, 9to5Mac’s Ben Lovejoy makes a good point on why the tech titan probably won’t ditch the Touch ID: it’s a security feature that the firm sold major banks on when launching its contactless Apple Pay feature, and it might be absurd to use face scanning to authenticate payments in brick-and-mortar stores. And Apple could well be able to crack the code to hide a button on the front panel of the iPhone 8, quite similar to how the company did with the Touch ID button on the 2016 MacBook Pro.
It’s also worth remembering that one of Bloomberg’s multiple sources said that3D face scanning feature might not make it to the iPhone 8 – but that will depend on a number of considerations, including suppliers’ ability to supply the necessary modules for this feature on time.