Home » Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ Expected to Add Facial Recognition and 3D Laser Scanner

Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ Expected to Add Facial Recognition and 3D Laser Scanner

The 3D laser scanning module that may make an appearance on the “iPhone 8” raises a number of questions. A new report attempts to shed some light on the subject, including what model of iPhone it might appear on this year. According to Rod Hall from investment firm J.P. Morgan, the sensor expected to be used in this year’s “iPhone 8” is aimed at a practical face scanning utility. And it is not solely or specifically for augmented reality application.

According to reports, Apple’s Touch ID sensor has the potential of a 1 in 50,000 error rate. In its earliest implementation, Hall believes a laser-based 3D sensor, versus an infrared one, will be far more accurate, boosting the already very secure Touch ID.


A 3D sensor needs a few key features —it needs a light emitter in the form of a LED or laser diode, a light filter for a noise-free scan, and a speedy image sensor coupled with a powerful signal processor. Each aspect has some implementation difficulties, which Hall believes have been rectified by Apple and partner Primesense in a relatively inexpensive package that should add not much more than 3 percent to the build cost of an iPhone.

Any 3D laser scanning apparatus in a smartphone would likely be introduced in a wafer-level “stacked” optical column, rather than a conventional barrel lens. The technology has more use than facial recognition. A potential API release, which is probably not likely early in the hardware’s life, could open up other uses like ultimate use in augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. Usage scenarios also include measuring clothing sizing, accurate distance measurements for home improvement, scanning for 3D printing, appliance and HomeKit integration, and other applications needing precise volumetric scans, or range-finding needs.

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