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Bloomberg: iPhone 8's face-mapping and ProMotion display tech may be tasked to a 'Neural Engine' co-processor

Posted: , by Daniel P. Daniel P.

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New 3D face recognition tech may be responsible for the crowded top cutout in an all-screen iPhone 8

New 3D face recognition tech may be responsible for the crowded top cutout in an all-screen iPhone 8


Stacking on yesterday's iPhone 8 revelations by famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, comes a Bloomberg source who confirms that the phone might not sport the traditional Touch ID sensor at the front bottom indeed. Instead, Apple is toying around with the rumored 3D facial recognition for unlocking the phone and authorizing secure payments. The 3D-mapping is apparently done by a dedicated sensor/laser emitter combo at the top front of the device, but it would differ from the gimmicky iris scanning that Samsung offers on its newer phones, as there is a depth component, and it's not easy to fool it with a simple face printout.

Bloomberg's sources aren't yet sure if the face recognition feature will be what's replacing Touch ID in the iPhone 8, but work on it is evidently in advanced stages, and it's even deemed to be more secure than a finger scan, as the system takes much more points into account. We aren't exactly sure how the 3D-mapping will work with glasses on, or after a bar fight, but we may find out soon enough.

The other interesting tidbit about the upcoming iPhone 8 are that it could sport the same ProMotion display tech that came with the new iPad Pro models. It essentially increases the refresh rate for less scrolling blur, and, in the case of the new iPhones, will be managed by a new dedicated AI co-processor within the A11 chipset. Apple is calling the new chip Neural Engine, and is allegedly intent on tasking it with specialized AI functions like typing predictions and face/image recognition, in order to offload these tasks from the main processor cores, and save on battery.

The rest of Bloomberg's piece mostly rehashes design clues we've already heard about - that the iPhone 8 will sport a glass sandwich design with tapered sides, and a very thin stainless steel frame circumventing the phone, which will make it look almost entirely made of glass. The front will be occupied by the new ProMotion display, with only a section cutout at the top for the earpiece, camera and sensors. Apple's traditional home key will be replaced with a soft button and/or swipe gestures, and all of these moves will allow the iPhone 8 to come not much larger than the iPhone 7, yet fitting a display panel almost the size of the 7 Plus. Initial supplies are expected to face a bottleneck, says Bloomberg, likely due to the lack of sufficient OLED panels yield, but there will always be the more traditional, LCD-equipped iPhone 7s and 7s Plus to fall back on for those who are impatient. Good times.

source: Bloomberg   

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