Apple could be testing a new method for unlocking the much anticipated iPhone 8, it's tenth anniversary special. A report from Bloomberg on Tuesday confirms that the company is testing a new 3D facial recognition technology, one that could replace Touch ID very soon.
The new security system will allow users to log in, authenticate payments, and launch secure apps by scanning their face, similar to the functionality of the existing fingerprint scanner technology. Sources close to Bloomberg mentioned that a new 3D sensor is in development which would enable the technology to function. The source also added that the company is testing an iris scanning feature to add to the system. Indeed, the system will not rely on any one mechanism alone but will use a combination of systems instead.
While Apple is not the first to try facial and eye scanning authentication systems, the company claims that the sensor's speed and accuracy are the main points of focus for their implementation. Previous iterations by arch rival, Samsung received wide criticism from users who were able to trick the sensors with printed photocopies of the person's eyes using aided with a contact lens. Apple's sensor, however, is said to implement 3D depth perception technology which takes in more data points than a fingerprint scanner, making it more secure.
An Apple spokespeople said that the feature is still in its testing phase and that it may or may not make it to Apple's tenth-anniversary edition of the iPhone (iPhone 8 or iPhone X). Earlier reports had pointed out that Apple could be working on a fingerprint scanning technology embedded into the phone's display.
Apple introduced Touch ID in 2013 with the iPhone 5s for unlocking the phone and added support for authenticating payments through its native payment feature, Apple Pay as well as logging into apps a year later. According to CNET, Apple's acquisition of RealFace, an Israeli start-up, in February did point towards the development of a facial recognition technology on Apple's devices.