According to people familiar with the upcoming iPhone who spoke to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a future that will let you unlock its smartphone using your face rather than a fingerprint. The feature is expected to be rolled into the 10th anniversary iPhone and will also allow the user to authenticate payments, launch secure apps, and more.
The people who spoke to Bloomberg (on the condition of anonymity) also said that the technology will be powered by a new 3D sensor and will be augmented ted by an eye scanning system.
3D facial technology in smartphones is not new—my Samsung Nexus from a few years back let me unlock my phone by scanning my face—but this would be the first time Apple opted to include high-powered 3D scanning sensors in its smartphone. Bloomberg’s source said that because the technology is still in development it’s possible it won’t be ready in time for the new iPhone, but the plan is for the new facial recognition technology to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which was introduced with the iPhone 5s in 2013.
In theory, facial scanning technology is supposed to be stronger in terms of keeping a person’s device secure—it takes in more data points than a fingerprint scan. But other manufacturers have launched similar technology to poor reviews. Namely, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 included an iris scanner that let users unlock their phones and make payments, but the tech was able to be tricked with printed out photos of a person’s eyes.
According to Bloomberg, Apple’s 3D sensor will be more sophisticated, allowing it to avoid being duped by flat pictures.
Facebook’s AR Glasses
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) August 18, 2017
During his annual keynote earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg eluded to some major project that the social media behemoth was working on in the augmented reality space. The project, a pair of AR glasses, has been held pretty tightly under wraps, but The Zuck has said that the end-goal for AR is lightweight glasses that are stylish and effectively overlay virtual objects onto the real world.
We might know a little bit more about the kind of progress Facebook is making thanks to a patent application filed last week that was obtained by Business Insider. The application was filed by employees at Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus and refers to a “waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner.” In it, the team said the display “may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer-generated elements" and "may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly that presents media to a user’s eyes.”
The waveguide technology is similar to what you might see in Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset.
More CE News
- Nokia has received a lot of praise for its first Android flagship smartphone, the Nokia 8.
- Mobile game developers are finding unique ways to rethink ads as reward-driven experiences, creating value for both the advertiser and the gamer.
- CNET has a thorough breakdown of how you can make calls with Google Home.