Since its debut, Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone X has been the benchmark for advanced biometrics. But Vivo’s new Time of Flight (TOF) 3D Sensing Technology looks to have surpassed what the iPhone X has to offer.
Equipped with 300,000 sensor points—Apple’s Face ID has 30,000—Vivo’s technology works by emitting pulse light and then calculating how long it takes that light to return to the sensor. The technology is capable of creating an advanced 3D map of objects up to three meters from the phone.
The introduction of Vivo’s technology arrives after the company released the NEX, a smartphone that features an all-screen design, pop-up camera, and in-display fingerprint sensor. The arrival of Vivo’s Face ID competitor promises to bring its future devices to the next level.
We’ve seen Face ID alternatives from companies like OnePlus and Samsung, but nothing has been able to match the complexity of Apple’s system. Vivo could be the first company to seriously challenge Apple’s technology, which continues to be a bright spot on the iPhone X.
“By combining TOF 3D Sensing Technology with AI, we will continue to explore new possibilities for a better future,” said Alex Feng, senior vice president of Vivo.
In addition to uses for facial recognition, Vivo says its technology can be used to track gestures and movements of a user’s entire body. The company also says it could have uses in entertainment.
Vivo didn’t say when its TOF 3D sensor will appear in a phone, but the company promises it’s no “mere proof of concept.” My guess is we’ll see something appear later this fall.