New suppliers will advance Apple’s facial recognition technology in 2018. Face ID won’t be developed by Sharp any longer, according to ETNews and the Korea Herald. The one-time supplier of components for the TrueDepth system opted to not renew its deal. Apple went searching for new suppliers, and it’s already found three to aid in development this year.
LG Innotek as well two unidentified companies have been brought in to work on the pieces necessary for Face ID. However, it won’t be as simple as replicating Sharp’s product. Apple expects the new suppliers to make Face ID faster and more accurate.
It’s expected that a trio of new iPhone models will ship with Face ID later this year. Apple doesn’t want to leave production on the technology for various models to just one partner. By diversifying who its partners are, Apple can expect to have a better Face ID ready for all three iPhone models.
The iPhone X is currently the only model in the lineup to have facial recognition. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 continues to leverage fingerprint recognition through the home button’s Touch ID system. Apple likely didn’t have the time to get Face ID into the less expensive model, or it simply wanted to make facial recognition a standout feature on the iPhone X. Regardless, in 2018 it should be coming to every new model.
Others in the mobile industry also are investing heavily in facial recognition as a more secure method of authentication.