Recently published patent applications reveal that Apple has been working on an iPhone facial recognition system for years, but the company is still having trouble getting the technology to work on the upcoming iPhone 8.
Apple was recently reported to be in panic mode as software problems have plagued the iPhone 8, including issues with the 3D face scanning feature that is expected to debut in the premium smartphone.
Apple Facial Recognition Patent
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application filed by Apple in 2013 for "embedded authentication systems in an electronic device."
The patent application's claims detail advanced facial recognition systems for authenticating the owners of portable devices. The technology combines capturing 2D images and 3D data of a user's face, with the 3D capture device collecting data such as the contours of the user's facial features. This means that the system would not be easily tricked with a 2D picture of the user's face, unlike what happened with the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The patent application specifically describes that the techniques can be used for portable devices such as an iPhone. It is likely not a coincidence that the same technology is predicted to be part of the iPhone 8's long list of features.
The application is also found to be the successor of several ones dating back to 2007. This means that Apple could already be working on the technology for a decade, and yet, it has apparently not yet worked out all the kinks.
Apple Still Having Trouble With iPhone 8 Facial Recognition
Previous reports claimed that Apple may replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanning technology with the 3D face scanning system on the iPhone 8. This may be because Apple is having trouble with embedding the fingerprint sensor into the iPhone 8's display, forcing the company to use an alternate authentication method for the smartphone.
Replacing the Touch ID with 3D face scanning technology might be a bad idea, but the worse news is that Apple is experiencing software issues with the feature, along with wireless charging. There is nothing wrong with the hardware related to the features, reports claim, as the issues are only with the software of the iPhone 8.
This means that Apple might delay the launch of the iPhone 8, or it may launch the smartphone on time but with the 3D face scanning and wireless charging features disabled until it is able to fix the software problems.