Following this week’s news about the next iPhone to have, instead of a Home button (Home) with Touch ID below the screen, a “function bar”, the question remains: where would the fingerprint reader be located? In the back? Maybe attached to the screen? There are many theories, and now, just one more has appeared: it simply wouldn’t exist anymore.
According to the analyst Rod Hall, from JPMorgan, the “iPhone 8” (or “iPhone X”) would completely get rid of Touch ID to leave the way for a bigger screen. Contrary to all other theories, Hall suggests that the user would be identified not by his fingerprint, but by facial recognition.
The facial recognition would be given by a 3D laser scanner, and the “proof” of this would be the great demand for modules of this type in the various Apple suppliers. This scanner would increase the total product price by $ 10 to $ 15.
Hall also says that with facial recognition, users would get rid of the errors that Touch ID presents when their fingers are wet. He also said the technology would be safer when using Apple Pay. One more reason for the adoption of the technology would be that it could be used to improve augmented reality – which would probably not be adopted until 2018.
An obvious and potentially more attractive use would be augmented and virtual reality, in which the user’s hands and other real-world objects will be digitized and integrated into a field of view provided by the iPhone mounted on something like a Google Daydream and headphones. This would provide many interesting gaming and entertainment experiences that are not available today, in addition to Apple being able to differentiate itself from RA / RV accessories compared to Google and others.
Finally, Hall comments on the possibility of Apple announcing the new device at the next Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), on June 5, although the company has not done so since the iPhone 4 (in 2010).
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Facial recognition technology is by no means a bad thing to be implemented or improved. However, it is difficult to believe that it would be more “comfortable” than the simple Touch ID that we quickly get used to. In addition, juggling to put your face in front of the device when we need to use Apple Pay doesn’t seem like something more practical there.
In relation to the “module” being used for augmented reality, which appears as a secondary in Hall’s speech, it could very well be the main factor of existence in the devices – which would be a very plausible reason and which may have a support in the rumor of that improvements would come in the Camera app to assist in AR / RV. Anyway, the use of this module does not prevent, in my opinion, that the two technologies coexist, both facial recognition and Touch ID (even if elsewhere on the device).