The 3D face-scanning tech is no longer exclusive to the iPhone X


Apple's TrueDepth camera kit that presaged the flood of notch-y phones in the first half of the year, is no regular face recognition hardware, like the ones we had on Samsung flagships before the iPhone X was introduced.

It doesn't simply use the front camera, coupled with an emitter at best, and apply software trickery for storing and reading your face afterward. In fact, the extra parts that make Face ID and Animoji on the iPhone X possible, are lovingly called Romeo and Juliet by Apple's suppliers, as they have to be paired together for the system to work. 

The tricky-to-produce Romeo is a dot projector that throws in no less than 30 000 near-infrared beams at your face projecting a pattern onto it, while Juliet is the infrared camera that collects and infers the depth perception by calculating where the lines break via an algorithm. You also need something called flood illuminator - a name worthy of the Back to the Future franchise.


These extra parts are the ones that Apple struggled to secure enough yield of in the first weeks of iPhone X production, but now the floodgates have opened, it seems. A few manufacturers already announced phones with true 3D face-scanning technology similar to the one Apple is using, despite analyst claims that Apple is two years ahead of the competition in that realm, and Phil Schiller's blurp that Android's attempts at Face ID will all "stink," as they have no TrueDepth camera systems.

First in line was Xiaomi with its Special Edition Mi 8, which also sports in-display finger scanners for some extra biometry (and bragging rights), and you can see that its animated emojis are trying to mimic Apple's Animoji efforts in the video below.



The other one is the freshly-announced Oppo Find X that hailed from the Louvre in Paris yesterday with an intriguing slide-out camera system. Don't believe that these are the first Android phones with true 3D face-readers? Well, check out the components they are using for the face recognition technology, compared to Apple's schematics, and marvel at the quick uptake. Granted, Oppo says that its dot projector splashes 15,000 points of light onto your face, while the iPhone X does twice the amount, yet something tells us those would be enough for Oppo to tout 0.5s from sliding your finger up the locked screen to the camera system popping up, reading your face and unlocking the phone. Sign of the times.


Given that the iPhone X Face ID technology is now out there in the Android world, we wouldn't rule out the growing chatter that Samsung will incorporate it in the Galaxy S10, and yet would love to stage a fight between Apple's Animoji and Oppo's fresh-out-of-the-oven Omoji, given they are both powered by a flood illuminator and dot projector now.

FEATURED VIDEO

30 Comments

1. thetruthhasbeenspoken

Posts: 83; Member since: May 02, 2017

Really? A stage fight of emojis? How old are you, 7?

2. afrohoxha

Posts: 254; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

This article is so cringy to read. It's getting out of hand. Especially considering subscribers here are not your average Joe regarding technology and development on mobile sector. Please respect us PA editors!

5. Phullofphil

Posts: 1785; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Actually we are average joe when it comes to people that would be interested in reading this. Does it surprise anybody that manufactures are copying a new tech that works well. Android is a great os but it’s a direct ripoff of apples vission for a phone operating system and App Store. Just like the phone makers that make up android phones directly copy what the iPhone is or what they think it will be. Even though at this point in the game there is nowhere to go but pretty much the same path so now it comes down to the little decisions.

20. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Oh my the fanboyism is hitting unprecedented levels here.

25. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

Why them dont copy íos overall system wide software dependent responsiveness

26. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

What they think it is or what they think it will be? Lol, love the future copying accusation right of the bat. Can't believe all these Android devices copying Apple's stereo audio recording, multitasking on phones, etc. iPhones are now the feature equivalent of half a decade old Android tech. Performance wise, they range from present day to a full decade old, depending on how much money Apple needs to make this quarter.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Almost none of that was true.

23. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I just watched Lew talk about this Oppo phone, their way of implementing so many front sensors is truly how it should be done, it's cool and best of all there is no god awful notch!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV5TjZCJkuA Here is great video of the product if you care to see it in action .

3. bediumang

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

oh really if they copied, you and apple should sue them.

4. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

i thought it was hilarious when they kept saying apple was 2 years ahead... please... you know the east companies can just take the parts and incorporate them quickly in their phones based off of speculation or if the item is actually in the phone.

6. Chuck007

Posts: 1410; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Reverse engineering at its finest.

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Am I the only one who is NOT into this this childish, over-hyped and overrated feature; or should I say 'gimmick'? Oh well, G'Day!

10. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

No only websites like this one seem to overhype any feature related to Apple to garner Apple's attention. This feature is as childish as it gets.

15. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And PA's reaction to this thing is also childish.

11. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Nope, you are not the only one.

8. SamsungNewbie

Posts: 143; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Samsung did it best.

16. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

It’s the worst.!!! They almost copied a gimmick which users forgot in just 2 days.

18. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I could care less about emoji crap but I sincerely hope you’re joking.

19. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Romeo and Juliet. Wtf???

22. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I wouldn't say Samsungs works the best , because it doesn't. If you are into that I guess it's ok. What Samsung did do the best is the choice of characters.

9. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I'm sorry, but who actually cares about having the most accurate "Omoji", "AR Emoji" or "Animoji"? It's such a gimmick. I would prefer if brands would limit the amount of money they spent on such gimmicky features that i would never use.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4198; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I agree. All these OEMs spending time in announcements reviewing features that people (en masse) use for a month and then rarely touch again. Makes no sense.

13. gamehead unregistered

that was quick

14. lJesseCusterl

Posts: 96; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

All the 3D face scanning is is a mini-Kinect. Seriously.

17. donhwan

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

WOW, 2 years already?/s Seems like just last year Cook said it would take the rest of the industry to catch up to the iPhone X's 3D face technology. I guess we will have to see if it's in the same league as Apple.

28. midan

Posts: 2865; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Cook have never said anything like that

21. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Far from a copy lol.

24. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

The Xperia XZ1 had a depth sensor and you could produce 3d scans. The Zenfone AR had infrared depth sensing infrared camera. However, i would still prefer fingerprintscanner, built into the display. And 3d camera on the back for mapping.

27. Aircrackng

Posts: 56; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

Did they really have to use a panda for the Asian lady??

30. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Xiaomi could have choose a more attractive model...just saying...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.