This early, details about the iPhone 8 are already leaking left and right. It appears that one of these intels has just been corroborated after Apple reportedly acquired an Israeli AI startup called RealFace.
Although the acquisition and its terms are yet to be made public, Apple allegedly paid several million dollars for the deal. This is really not surprising given the nature of the technology that the company is gaining.
For more information about the RealFace's worth, The Times of Israel revealed that the company has raised more than $1 million before Apple entered the picture. The report also noted that the Cupertino-based company has bought three other Israeli startups since 2011.
"Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," RealFace stated in its LinkedIn account. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features."
RealFace currently has an app called Pickeez, which can choose the best photo out of a batch from every platform they are taken.
Facial Recognition AI
RealFace is in the business of developing a facial recognition technology that could underpin the rumored shift in the authentication process for the iPhone 8 and its future iterations. Prior information revealed that Apple is about to ditch the TouchID possibly in the iPhone 8 in an effort to increase the handset's display footprint.
A recent Apple patent has indicated that the company may be angling for an on-screen fingerprint scanner. Some also believe that iPhone will rock an iris scanner, which Samsung first introduced in the Galaxy Note 7.
Recently, KGI Securities, a reliable source of Apple rumors, broached that iPhone maker might just go for a facial scanner. This is now the information that just got bolstered by the RealFace takeover.
Those curious why Apple would want a facial scanner in its devices could probably turn to the fact that it would be more convenient as unlocking your device and verifying user identity will effectively become hands-free. It could also prove to be more secure than previous user authentication modules such as TouchID.
It is not yet clear how a facial scanner will work. It will, however, likely use the device's camera and the process should be somewhat similar to the way Samsung implemented its iris scanner module. It will be interesting to see how Apple will develop its own technology given how the process could have more steps that could affect usability.
To trigger the scanner, Apple might have to wake the device, open the camera and get a scan. That is a lengthy procedure. It could also tweak iOS so that the camera is always on, ready to capture your face to unlock your device.