Apple might well be on the verge of replacing fingerprint scanning with face scanning to secure access to its forthcoming iPhone 8. This new smartphone, which the brand is set to unveil publicly in September, is predicted to be unlocked by its owner using the device's integrated 3D camera.

 

We do not yet know whether they are just rumours or information from a reliable source, but more and more details about the future iPhone 8's characteristics are emerging. The security system to lock and unlock Apple's latest release is the subject of much speculation. Though "Touch ID" − a system that uses fingerprints to identify the user − appeared a success, it could end up being replaced by face scanning technology.

 

Not enough time to hone the "Touch ID" technology

 

This is what Ming-Chi Kuo, a specialist from Asian giant KGI Securities, suggests in his predictions for the new iPhone 8. Though its official launch is scheduled for September, the device might not be on the market until November 2017, reports Le Figaro. According to Kuo, the technical challenges faced and a lack of time have forced the brand to backtrack with its "Touch ID" system.

Apple's engineers allegedly had trouble integrating the fingerprint sensor underneath the smartphone's new screen while preserving a sufficient level of security. The scan-through ability of the under-display fingerprint solution was too inaccurate to be approved. There were two solutions available: push back the launch of the iPhone 8 until the results fulfilled expectations or place the sensor on the back of the device. The designers decided that neither solution was acceptable.

 

3D and augmented reality to help with facial recognition

 

This is where the device's 3D camera comes into play. In addition to taking 3D selfies, this technology allows for face scanning, which paves the way for augmented reality. And if the camera can identify a face, it can be used to secure access to the iPhone by locking the screen to anyone other than the phone's owner, and even as a safe way to authorise payments using Apple Pay.

Could this be the last nail in the coffin for fingerprint identification? Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the Californian firm has also developed a system to make 3D models of a person's face, which could be used as a key to unlock the iPhone. Bloomberg corroborated this information and, contrary to the fears initially expressed, added that this technology will work even when the smartphone is lying flat on a table. 

 

40 million iPhone 8 sold before the end of 2017?

 

The final argument in favour of facial recognition is that it would be quicker and would offer better protection than fingerprints. This could sway the balance to help Apple sell nearly 40 million of its new iPhone 8 in the last three months of 2017, as predicted by KGI Securities.

 

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