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Apple iPhone 8 to come with facial recognition tech via new ‘laser sensor’

According to a research note by Cowen and Company, which it supplied to its clients, the iPhone-maker is working to accommodate gesture or facial recognition using the front camera module on iPhones.

tech Updated: Jan 19, 2017 18:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Apple,iPhone,iPhone 8

Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone 8 may get yet another feature that will help create unprecedented demand for its flagship smartphones.

This time it could be a new facial recognition feature via the addition of a new laser senor that will help the iPhone-maker’s cause in the field of virtual reality (VR).

According to a research note by Cowen and Company, which it supplied to its clients, the iPhone-maker is working to accommodate gesture or facial recognition using the front camera module on iPhones.

Read: Apple to come out with iPhone 7S in red colour before iPhone 8

A Business Insider report also claimed that while the note contains other features that are already doing rounds, several other interesting additions have been made to the features list.

“Other features appear to include some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera and, as expected, should also finally include wireless charging,” Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote.

The company also said that Apple has continued its effort to work on a new kind of depth-sensor that it might have acquired from Primesense.

Read: Apple might launch three new iPads in March this year

Most of Cowen and Company’s findings in the research note cite things down to field work coming from Apple’s supply chain. This would include details like a new 5.8-inch model instead of the usual two. The same 5.8-inch model is expected to be called the ‘iPhone 10’ or ‘iPhone X’ and will pack in an OLED screen.

The smartphone is expected to have an wraparound design and will integrate the Touch ID fingerprint reader below the display in the active display area.

According to the same analyst, the exciting new 10th anniversary iPhone will be huge and will be a good enough reason for many to upgrade this year, which should add some momentum to slowing iPhone sales.

Read: Read the fine print: What Apple didn’t tell you at its launch event

Other rumours also indicate that the phone will carry IP68 certifications. While Apple’s iPhone 7 IP67 rating means that it can take immersion up to 1 mentre for about 30 minutes, the IP68 rating goes a little farther. A device market IP68 means that it can stand immersion up to 1.5 metre for about 30 minutes. However, several smartphones have moved much faster than Apple in this regard with Sony and other adapting IP69 and nearly 99% water-proofing.

Moreover, the 10th-anniversary edition of Apple iPhone 8 is expected to come in a stainless steel chasis and an all glass body.

Citing Taiwanese sources, a report from DigiTimes claims that Apple has bypassed usual supplier Foxconn and placed orders for forged stainless steel iPhone casings from manufacturing partner Jabil.

Read: Apple leads in smartphone profits with 91% share, Samsung not in top five

The iPhone-maker had last relied on stainless steel instead of aluminium on the iPhone 4S but had to switch to aluminium due to quality issues

Apple is also expected to build bezel-less curved OLED displays for its iPhone 8. The rumnour is in line with Sharp top executive remarks that Apple has to finally choose OLED displays to take the next step in innovating displays on its smartphones.

According to Barclays Research analysts, the 5-inch and 5.8-inch bezel-free iPhones with borderless design will allow for the new iPhones to be the same overall size as current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, reported.

Read: As Apple’s iPhone turns 10 today, Cook says just getting started

“Larger and bezel-less iPhone 8 design did not sound 100 per cent locked down but we believe the move is to a bezel-less design with screen sizes getting larger and curved edges in the original envelope,” the report quoted analysts as saying.

Of the two prospect releases, only the 5.8-inch model will use OLED display technology, “which can be sharper, brighter, and more energy efficient than LCD technology”.

Samsung and LG, joined by Foxconn-owned Sharp by 2018, are said to be Apple’s primary OLED suppliers. An analyst from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo had in March said that Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year, the research note mentioned.

Read: Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8 may come with bezel-less OLED display

According to Japanese website Nikkei, the larger-screened iPhone will be a premium model, positioned alongside 4.7-inch and 5-inch iPhones with LCD displays.

There are reports that a bezel-free design by Apple will be achieved by removing the iconic Home button on the next iPhone. Barclays expects that the screen will extend vertically as well as horizontally.

First Published: Jan 19, 2017 18:42 IST