Will Apple do away with the Touch ID in its next flagship?

According to new rumor mills, Apple’s 10th-anniversary phone; ‘iPhone 8,’ may have a shift in design. That is, the new iPhone will not sport an embedded Touch ID fingerprint sensor as speculated in early rumors and leaks. Information at Bloomberg points out that Apple may favor a 3D facial scanning technology in place of the Touch ID. Sources report that testing is already underway.

These rumors are in line with what the most accurate and famous KGI Securities analyst predicted back in March. The analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, claimed that one of the expected iPhone, the OLED iPhone 8, will not have the embedded Touch ID. This is because of the technological state which will make it hard to implement. The challenges include; the current OLED display technology won’t work with the existing fingerprint scanning technology, and there are still challenges in implementing the scan through ability of an under display fingerprint technology.

On the bright side, the device will be the first smartphone to feature the highest screen to body ratio. This is due to the edge to edge display and significantly reduced bezels since there won’t be a physical home button. Subsequently, there’s no further information and leaks on whether the Touch ID will be relocated. It might be somehow true that Apple is ditching the Touch ID.

Without the Touch ID, the 3D sensors will be used as the new form of biometric security for Apple. Reports revolving around this idea have been doing rounds on the internet for a while, they also suggested that Apple will implement facial recognition via the new 3D sensors. This means that facial scanning will be used to perform some security functions. According to people who are undertaking the tests, the 3D sensors will be used to unlock the phone, log in and launch secure apps and also authenticate payments. Eye scanning will also be used. Apple seems to follow the trend; implementing other biometric authentication methods apart from the fingerprint sensor.

Although from the WWDC 2017, the primary use for 3D sensing was for augmented reality. What everybody overlooked is that the tech could be used for facial scanning. Apple is capable of anything; remember when they ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack. But with the undergoing tests, it’s now a viable application. According to the tests, “The sensor’s speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user’s face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds.” It was also good news to hear that the device can be unlocked while lying on a flat surface.

Additionally, during the tests, it was revealed that the face unlock feature is more secure than the Touch ID. It takes in more data points than a fingerprint scan. Being a 3D system, it will be hard to bypass it using pictures which are 2D. In a contradictory statement, the sources said that this feature may not be ready for the new flagships yet. Other rumors also state that Apple has been working on infrared modules for the next iPhone flagship. This supports the 3D sensing for facial scanning. They may be used to improve the 3D tech in that facial unlock can be used in low light scenarios.

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