The iPhone X doesn’t actually need the TrueDepth camera kit in its notch for Animoji

Apple is betting so hard on the added value of its inimitable TrueDepth camera kit that allows Face ID biometric unlocking and entertaining crowd-pleasers like Animojis, that it made several compromises with the look and app compatibility of the iPhone X (looking at you, notch-y top).

Well, folks were perfectly fine with unlocking their phone via the Touch ID finger scanner, and now it turns out that the Animoji feature may not even need the TrueDepth set, so... Wait, what? Apparently, even when you cover everything in the notch area but the regular selfie camera, you will still be able to animate your facial expressions in the form of a fox, a robot, or an alien. Granted, the 3D face-scanning kit is maybe being used for the initial mapping, or for more detailed representation of your mimics, but it's not otherwise a requirement, it seems.

Apple, however, has enabled its augmented reality development kit only for the front camera of the iPhone X, not the other lowly iPhones, so you will still need that expensive gear to swap your face with the one of a talking pig, and startle the natives in the Amazonian rainforests.

source: TNW

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. Phullofphil

Posts: 1832; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Good one. Very scientific artical to spread maybes and then the artical goes on to say well maybe it did use it.

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Why would he lie? Did you look at the video? He clearly covered up areas of the camera when he was using animoji app. Then it was still working. So like he said the animoji app we all know is exclusive to iPhone X, but now we know it is using only the front facing camera and not the rest of the FaceID sensors. Therefore Apple could have added this to other iPhones, but choose to make this exclusive to iPhone X. It's not unbelievable, especially when snap chat and other camera apps can do something similar to track a users face using only the front facing camera.

15. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

That sounds precisely like what they did with Siri on the 4S, Air Drop on the 5, app shortcuts on the 6S, etc; merely restricting ancient stuff to the latest iDevice...

18. Phullofphil

Posts: 1832; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Because it says in the article as much. All the sensors could have mapped out the Face before the camera took over. Which does not really prove anything except maybe part of the process. There is anamoji apps out there that use just camera and don’t work. If this proves you only need a camera that proves you dont

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31626; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

They did the same thing with Siri at launch, then expanded it. This isn't a shock, it'll expand next No biggie.

2. gigicoaste

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

so at the end.. which one is it, does it use the TrueDepth or not? :)) Wouldn't surprise me to use only the front camera, my logitech webcam was doing this some years back. True that animation was not so smooth.. but technology is the same.


Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

If jailbrake is possible on ios 11 then animoji possible on any iphone

4. Sania

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 04, 2017

Yes it is, you can even install the notch for any iPhone

5. palmguy

Posts: 987; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

This means the notch was Apple's way of just making the front of the phone look different from all the other minimized bezel phones. So indeed, form over function.

29. srgonu

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

This is fragmentation.

6. Whitedot

Posts: 869; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Daniel, do you hear voices in your head?

8. cmdacos

Posts: 4333; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

No kidding. It's snapchat.

9. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I love how people defend the notch and say it is necessary for the front camera. ..... pretty sure the camera could have fit in a normal black bezel across the top.

10. peschiera

Posts: 51; Member since: Sep 17, 2017

This is no surprise at all. For instance, take the portrait selfies: any S8/S8+ user already knew that for taking portrait selfies you'll just need the front camera, but Apple's marketing made the entire world to believe, you'll need the TrueDepth camera. The same applies to Face-ID: Apple says the complicated algorithm together with the TrueDepth camera learns your face and if your appearance changes, it can still recognize you. That was a big selling point when presenting the new iPhones. But hey, the Iris scanner has been doing this from day one: it doesn't care whether or not you grow a beard. These guys don't sell functions, but buzzwords, such a Bionic chip, W1 chip, TrueDepth camera etc.This way they can distract people from the fact that they are just playing catch-up.

16. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Very well said! That's the typical CrappIe reality distortion field for you. Unfortunately, they've got lots of presstitutes who just parrot their claims without question, further misleading the masses...oh well, my wallet is just cashing in on those who won't dare to question them, so, can't complain :P

11. TerryD

Posts: 560; Member since: May 09, 2017

Isnt this animoji thing just another implemetation of what you get with apple like MSQRD? They dont need a truedepth camera to work. Admittedly it doesnt pick up facial expressions buts its not far off.

12. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Stupid and very stupid. What about the data stored in the device about the face using the TrueDepth camera kit?

13. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Told ya victor, Animoji is merely ancient sh*t from 2008 or even earlier being marketed as new to those who don't know better...

17. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

I just try this, after few second there are a lot of lags. So it uses this camera for sure. Oh I understand, lags is something useful for Android lovers and they don’t remark that!!!!

19. rk9flame

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

"Granted, the 3D face-scanning kit is maybe being used for the initial mapping, or for more detailed representation of your mimics, but it's not otherwise a requirement, it seems." That is a contradictory statement. If it uses the 3D face-scanning kip, it is thus indeed a requirement. Without this collected data, the RGB map is less accurate and will likely not produce the same effect. Its not constantly checking your face like FaceID is, but it likely checks and stores data and then compiles it with the photo map.

28. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Apple still claims the electronics and sensors found in the iPhone X are still needed for properly generated and tracking Animojis. So which one is correct??

30. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

The same way they said an app (Siri) requires the hardware of the 4S, or a sub part of jailbreak tweak (Airblue Shearing, which AirDrop/Wifi direct is a subpart of) requires iPhone 5 hardware...they're full of blatrant lies and reality distortion.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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 or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.