iPhone 8 expected to replace Touch ID with 3D facial recognition
Given 2017 is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, many expect Apple to come up with a few special features for this year’s generation of its smartphones. A high-end model with 5.8″ edge-to-edge OLED display is widely rumored and according to a note from J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall, this top-of-the-line device could do away with the Touch ID fingerprint reader and introduce 3D-facial recognition with a front-facing laser scanner as a security feature to Apple smartphones.
Removing the fingerprint reader would be an important step to make the edge-to-edge display possible and would also reduce user frustration in wet conditions when Touch ID doesn’t work well. Additionally, it could potentially be more secure, making it ideal for Apple Pay and other mobile commerce applications. Eventually the technology could also be used for augmented reality purposes but according to JPMorgan this is not expected to happen before 2018.
The research note also claims that, based on economies of scale, the 3D recognition technology could also make it onto the lower level models of the 2017 iPhone line. The scanner is said to add $10 to $15 per module to the iPhone 8’s bill of materials. In combination with the OLED display, glass casing, and related increased production cost this could mean that the new top-model will cost upwards of $1000.