Apple Said to Test 3-D Face Scanning to Unlock Next IPhone

Apple is to abandon its TouchID fingerprint recognition system, altogether in the OLED version of its iPhone 8 smartphone, according to a StreetInsider report on predictions made by KGO analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo doesn't believe the virtual Home button will support fingerprint recognition.


Kuo also expects the iPhone 8 to offer facial recognition through 3D sensing, which he said should also improve the quality of selfies taken with it. However, he does not clarify on whether the Touch ID sensor will be placed in an alternative location, or won't be around at all. It can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. The company is also testing eye scanning to augment the system, one of the people said.

Kuo is one of the best Apple analysts in the business. Samsung has reportedly run into the same issue, as it was unable to fit an integrated scanner in time for release, and introduced the Galaxy S8 with the sensor on the back as a result. Apple's technology is advanced enough that it is fast and can work if the phone is lying flat on a table, according to the Bloomberg report. The AI chip is internally called the Apple Neural Engine and would improve battery life by handling tasks like image recognition and typing suggestions, Bloomberg News reported in May. All three phones are also tipped to have glass backs and an aluminium frame.


Monday's update comes amid continued talk over what Apple plans to do with the Touch ID sensor, given the Home button is likely to disappear in favour of a bezel-free design.

Apple's stock is trading up 24% year-to-date.


Apple is expected to debut three new iPhones: two "s" models that will have a "form factor design similar to [the] current ones", with traditional LCD panel screens - as well as the long-rumored, OLED-equipped "iPhone 8" to mark the tenth birthday of the Apple smartphone. The latter option seems unlikely given how widely used Touch ID is.


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