Apple is Reportedly Replacing Touch ID with Facial Recognition

Just this morning, KGI Securities released a report stating the upcoming iPhone 8 would drop the Touch ID sensor entirely, leaving the question as to what type of security functionality would be included in the device besides a normal PIN. According to Bloomberg, it may actually be facial recognition.

Normally with facial recognition, a simple photo of one’s face is all it takes to unlock one’s phone. This renders the feature pretty insecure, but Bloomberg notes Apple will not use just the selfie or IR camera on the device and instead use a 3D camera to detect one’s face. This will allow for the feature to not only work while you’re looking at your phone, but also while your phone is sitting at your desk.  You also won’t need to hold your phone at an awkward angle to align your face properly.

Bloomberg says Apple’s facial recognition features good speed and accuracy. The publication notes your iPhone will be unlocked “within a few hundred milliseconds” of identifying your face, which is pretty fast. Apple is also reportedly testing eye scanning technologies.

During their testing of the new feature, Apple says it’s more secure than Touch ID since it takes in more data points than a fingerprint scan. The feature will be used for everything from logging into social media accounts to paying for goods with Apple Pay. However, since the feature is still being tested, it might not make it into this year’s tenth-anniversary iPhone. Analysts are predicting the feature will, in fact, land this year, but Bloomberg‘s report goes against this. So really, this could go either way.

In addition to a new facial recognition feature, the new iPhone will also reportedly use Apple’s ProMotion technology originally debuted on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in that it’ll have a 120Hz refresh rate. This would make the new iPhone twice as smooth to use as previous iPhones. Apple is also supposedly testing a custom dedicated chip called the Apple Neutral Engine that would improve battery life while processing artificial intelligence by handling tasks like image recognition and typing suggestions. It’s unclear how reliable these rumors are, but Bloomberg has a pretty good track record so I’d expect at least some of today’s news to be a part of the final iPhone 8 come September.