Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor could be on its way out as Apple engineers explore new methods for unlocking the iPhone. And, according to a report from Bloomberg, one such method could be facial recognition, which may appear in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8.
The report claims Apple will utilize a 3D sensor capable of scanning a user’s face in just a hundred milliseconds—and the feature is said to work even if the device is laying flat on a surface, Bloomberg claims.
Much like Touch ID, the new feature will be used for authentication purposes, whether a user is logging into their phone or using Apple Pay. In addition to the possible inclusion of facial recognition, Apple may also introduce an eye-scanning feature, too.
Although Apple appears to be deep into development on the feature, Bloomberg reports facial recognition won’t be included in the iPhone 8 unless it works perfectly. By Apple’s definition, that means no failed unlock attempts—and it must be very quick to unlock, too, much like Touch ID is in existing iPhone models.
Apple wouldn’t be the first company to use the futuristic biometric feature. However, the Cupertino company’s method would use a 3D sensor that Bloomberg claims is less likely to be tricked by photos. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 featured facial recognition and iris scanning, but YouTube videos have shown the device’s biometric methods can be duped by pictures.
Bloomberg says Apple intends for the feature to replace Touch ID, which has been a staple of iPhones since 2013. Surprisingly, Apple’s facial recognition technology is said to be more secure than Touch ID because it’s capable of taking in more data points.
The iPhone 8 is expected to feature a big redesign in celebration of its tenth anniversary, including an all-glass design, OLED display, and faster internals. Whether it’ll feature a Touch ID sensor on the back (or under the display) remains to be seen, but it sure sounds like facial recognition will be an important part of Apple’s future.
Apple will introduce the iPhone 8 along with an iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus at an event this fall.