Apple will be replacing the Touch ID feature found in previous iPhone models with 3D face scanning technology in the upcoming iPhone 8, according to Bloomberg.
The report follows predictions made by famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo regarding the three iPhone models that Apple will unveil later this year, wherein Kuo stated that the iPhone 8 will not support fingerprint scanning technology and will instead incorporate a facial recognition system.
Goodbye Touch ID, Hello 3D Face Scanning
Bloomberg said that Apple is currently testing a security system powered by a new 3D sensor for facial recognition, which will be supported by eye scanning. Users will be able to log in to their iPhone, authorize payments, and clear security protocols by having their face scanned.
The capabilities of the 3D face scanning sensor, however, is not the focus of the feature but rather its accuracy and speed. According to sources who wished to remain anonymous as the technology is still under development, the system can scan a person's face and unlock the iPhone within just a few hundred milliseconds. It can also work even if the iPhone is placed flat on the table, with no need to hold the device close to the user's face.
A source claimed that the facial recognition system is being developed with the intent to replace the Touch ID sensor. However, contrary to Kuo's report, it may not be ready in time to be included in the iPhone 8.
Is 3D Face Scanning More Secure Than Touch ID?
While Touch ID does come with certain weaknesses, such as the inability to properly read fingerprints when the user's fingers are sweaty or dirty, the switch to facial recognition technology raises questions on security. This is primarily because the facial recognition system on the Samsung Galaxy S8 was infamously tricked into allowing access to the smartphone using a high-resolution photo of the user's face.
Facial recognition systems are more secure than fingerprint scanners because they use more data points to recognize users. In addition, the technology that Apple is testing supports 3D depth perception, which means that it will not be fooled by 2D images.
Will 3D Face Scanning Appear On The iPhone 8?
The presence of 3D face scanning in the iPhone 8 is currently unclear due to the conflicting claims made by Kuo and Bloomberg. However, what is clear is that Apple is looking to further improve the security of its flagship product through this new technology.
Whether the iPhone 8 will replace the Touch ID with a 3D face scanning sensor will be known once Apple unveils its new iPhone models, which is expected to be sometime in September.