Apple buys Israeli firm RealFace, fuels rumours of iPhone 8 facial recognition | tech$news | Hindustan Times
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Apple buys Israeli firm RealFace, fuels rumours of iPhone 8 facial recognition

A new report from JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall states that Apple will remove Touch ID fingerprint recognition from the iPhone 8 completely. In its place will come a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition.

tech Updated: Feb 20, 2017 12:33 IST
HT Correspondent
A mockup design of what the iPhone 8 may look like.
A mockup design of what the iPhone 8 may look like.(Source: Moe Slah, ConceptsiPhone)

A new report from JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall states that Apple will remove Touch ID fingerprint recognition from the iPhone 8 completely. In its place will come a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition.

Adding merit to the rumour is another report from Israeli financial website Calcalist which states that Apple has acquired RealFace, an Israeli startup that developed deep learning-based face authentication technology. The terms of the deal aren’t public, but it’s estimated at “several million dollars.”

Read | ‘Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 8 will come with a larger battery but a bigger price tag’

In his report Hall says the benefits of facial recognition over fingerprint recognition are that it is widely regarded as being more secure, something banks would prefer as mobile payment services expand; and that it will work well in wet conditions where Touch ID can be less reliable.

The flip side is that facial recognition requires a more deliberate unlocking procedure of holding the phone up to your face which can be inconvenient and may make users more self-conscious than fingerprint unlocking. Facial recognition can also be less reliable for users who wear glasses, contact lenses or sunglasses, something the iris scanner in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 faced.

Read | Apple to start iPhone 8 production early to meet ‘unprecedented’ demand

If implemented, the cutting edge technology won’t come cheap.Hall says the scanner will add $10-15 more to the manufacturing cost of a phone compared to the Touch ID module currently being used. Coupled with the iPhone 8’s widely reported switch to an OLED display and all new chassis, the changes are expected to push the iPhone 8’s starting price over $1,000.