Sony is bringing laser face recognition to phones in 2019, promises better accuracy than Face ID

Sony is bringing laser face recognition to phones in 2019, promises better accuracy than Face ID
A new generation of face recognition technology is coming to phones in late 2019 and Sony is the company that is driving this innovation.

Sony sensor division chief Satoshi Yoshihara said last week that the company is planning to ramp up production of the new 3D sensors for both front and rear cameras, as several phone makers are planning to implement the new tech in their phones.

"Cameras revolutionized phones, and based on what I’ve seen, I have the same expectation for 3D. The pace will vary by field, but we’re definitely going to see adoption of 3D. I’m certain of it," Yoshihara said.

While there are multiple uses for these new-generation 3D cameras, the most exciting one might be to enable face recognition that promises to be even more accurate and reliable than the 3D scans that Apple introduced with Face ID. The Face ID way, which phone makers like Huawei and Xiaomi have also mimicked, revolves around projecting dots of invisible light onto a user's face and measuring the deformations in that grid, while Sony's new 3D cameras use pulsating laser signals and measure how long it takes for a pulse to bounce back. This is very similar to the way bats use echolocation in nature.

Sony says this new method creates a more detailed model of a user's face and can work from as far as 16 feet (5 meters).

And Sony is indeed very serious about bringing this to market. The company is hosting a dedicated Sony Depthsensing website where it explores the possibilities of such technology and how it can be implemented in autonomous cars, drones, robots and more.

With mass production of these new 3D cameras scheduled for late summer 2019, it is possible that the technology will be available for late 2019 flagships. With in-screen fingerprint technology still showing some growing pains, this might turn out to be the preferred solution for smartphone security in the future.

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25 Comments

1. w1000i

Posts: 230; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

They are leader in these stuff but the need to know how to put together will

2. JMartin22

Posts: 2305; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Uh huh..

8. mimicryXD

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Huh?! You just said it theyre the leader of this stuff. This year sony 48mp sensor will be in a bunch of phones so how u say they dont know how to put it together. Im confused.

10. maherk

Posts: 6536; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What he means is that Sony are pioneers in new technologies, but they are usually exporting them to other manufacturers and wait a lot before implementing them in their own phones. But hopefully this year will be different and we'll start seeing Sony's finest inventions being put in their phones first.

17. Feanor

Posts: 1269; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

They do. They just don't get any publicity. The XZ3 is pretty solid.

3. vuyonc

Posts: 1087; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Please put these in the XZ4!!! Skip the Animoji nonsense though.

4. westfind

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 06, 2017

Will the laser hurt my eye ?

11. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5467; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Depends on which class Laser is used. Class 1 (the type you find in CD players f.e.) are not harmful to the eye.

13. worldpeace

Posts: 3049; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Of course not, the light intensity of each dot is to low to hurt human eye.

15. palmguy

Posts: 950; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

You'll shoot your eye out! :-P

21. rouyal

Posts: 1540; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

My first thought thinking about it

24. abhinavjangir0201

Posts: 20; Member since: Aug 25, 2018

Yeahhh... Definitely :D

5. cmdacos

Posts: 3661; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Still need to add in a unique identifier or it won't be secure enough for me.

6. mimicryXD

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Wow feels like sony going all in on 2019. The new sensors, ps5, headphones and now this new 3d face recognition.

22. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I don't think PS5 is coming before 2020.

7. Budhainthemood

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Uhh, so thousands of tiny very weak, but still laser(!!!) beams would be directed to user's eyes?! I'll pass.

14. worldpeace

Posts: 3049; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Uhm... Those engineers know what they're doing, they aren't crazy, and think about this "LASIK use laser to fix human eye".

23. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Dude, if those lasers can fix human eyes think how powerful they are! A huge number of very weak lasers might still be able to do some damage in the long term.

9. Zylam

Posts: 1751; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Hopefully they become the industry leader and all the.OEM's implement Sony's tech. Will certainly raise the security of face unlocking across all Android phones.

12. tokuzumi

Posts: 1733; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Why would you need to unlock your phone from 16 feet away?

16. palmguy

Posts: 950; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Go get my phone, it's in the other room. I'll unlock it for you. :-P

19. Vokilam

Posts: 935; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Actually that can be useful. If I’m not holding the phone, and it’s standing on some counter - “Hey Siri what’s on my schedule like”. She’ll repond “you’ll need to unlock your phone first”. And there it is.

18. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 284; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Sony, how about release phones or devices that are supported longer than 15 mins that aren't tied to the PlayStation brand. My LTE PS Vita....oh wait.

20. sneaker1231

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 08, 2018

not exciting apple did just fine with face i.d why would we need laser scan seems a bit sketchy

25. AliBashir

Posts: 53; Member since: Jun 18, 2017

Says the Apple fan (-_-).. Until Apple possess it.

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