Apple aims to replace Touch ID in the iPhone 8 with 3D face scanning, says report

iPhone 8 laying face up showing Touch ID sensor

Almost always reliable Apple leaker Mark Gurman says that the iPhone 8 won’t feature a Touch ID fingerprint scanner built into its display like earlier reports predicted.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the project, Gurman says Apple is currently testing 3D face scanning technology with the goal of integrating the tech into the iPhone 8 as a replacement for Touch ID. This technology will reportedly be powered by a new proprietary 3D sensor. The new 3D sensor could also include an iris scanning feature.

Apple engineers are currently working on increasing the speed of the sensor’s recognition capabilities to ensure it only takes “a few hundred milliseconds” to unlock the phone. Furthermore, the sensor even has the ability to recognize faces when the iPhone 8 is laying flat on a table.

The report also indicates that Apple’s 3D scanning tech will use multiple data points, making it more secure than Touch ID, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8’s facial recognition and iris scanning features. For example, the Galaxy S8’s facial recognition scanner — a feature that’s also been included in other Android devices — is only a 2D scan.

The iPhone 8 is reportedly ditching Touch ID altogether in favour of this technology. It’s possible that, similar to rumours surrounding the S8, Apple wasn’t able to integrate its fingerprint scanning technology into the iPhone 8’s display. This led to rumours, including a few leaked renders, indicating that the iPhone 8 could possibly feature a rear fingerprint scanner.

Given Apple’s recent work in the augmented reality space with ARKit, a development platform that replicates much of the functionality of Google’s Tango AR platform, but across a much wider range of devices, it makes sense for Apple to be adapting that technology for other purposes.

Source: Bloomberg