Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone is still shrouded in mystery despite the numerous reports and leaks that are circulating the web. If a new report is to be believed, the iPhone 8 could boast of major innovation in terms of biometrics. While the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus relied on the fingerprint scanner for its biometrics security, the new smartphone from the Cupertino giant is now rumored to come with an advanced 3D laser scanner.
MacRumors reported Thursday citing JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall that the star of the show at Apple’s September launch event for the iPhones could sport a front-facing 3D laser scanner. This new technology will primarily be used for facial recognition to ensure top-of-the-line security. Obviously, the inclusion of such an advanced feature would have repercussions, and one of them is the possible death of Touch ID.
For iPhone users, Apple’s Touch ID is the first line of defense against hackers. The technology relied on fingerprint authentication to unlock the more recent iPhones and even carry out processes involving mobile payments and iTunes purchases. With the arrival of this 3D laser scanner however, there will be no more room for Touch ID to flaunt its functionality.
The removal of Touch ID also makes sense because Apple is gearing for the launch of a new iPhone that does not have the iconic Home button. Previous reports may have claimed that the Cupertino giant was testing a different kind of mechanism for its fingerprint scanner — something that would place the scanner just below the edge-to-edge display. However, it appears Apple could be going for a different direction that does not include the fingerprint scanner at all.
Hall said the 3D laser scanner will be more secure than Touch ID, and it could be more useful as well. Phone Arena pointed out that the new facial recognition technology would eliminate the frustration of iPhone users who have experienced the struggle of unlocking their device under wet circumstances. Furthermore, the phone-centric news site stated how the 3D scanner could open the doors for more advanced augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) endeavors in the future.
While its possible that Apple could expand the use of the 3D scanner in future projects, the technology will only debut with one primary purpose at launch: unlocking the iPhone via facial recognition. It would still take time for Apple to provide support for mobile payments. And by the time it does, that would only be the start of its venture to other applications of the new feature. Hall said Samsung’s biggest rival could even expand the scanning technology to other practical uses, like determining shoe sizes and facilitating online shopping.