Apple’s next-gen OLED iPhone’s infrared 3D scanner will work in complete darkness

“It was a memorable moment in Pixar’s 2004 classic ‘The Incredibles,’ one that seemed wildly futuristic at the time: Mr. Incredible picks up a wafer-thin tablet computer, and it scans his face to verify his identity before divulging his secret mission,” Christopher Mims reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Thirteen years later, many slim phones and tablets unlock with the press of a thumb—and just this sort of mobile facial scanning is on the way.”

“While Apple hasn’t announced any use of this technology — let alone confirmed whether it will exist inside the widely expected 10th-anniversary iPhone — the company is no stranger to infrared depth-mapping and facial recognition,” Mims reports. “It has previously been granted patents describing nearly identical processes. Apple declined to comment on any technology it might be working on.”

“Depth-sensing technology, generally called ‘structured light,’ sprays thousands of tiny infrared dots across a person’s face or any other target. By reading distortions in this field of dots, the camera gathers superaccurate depth information. Since the phone’s camera can see infrared but humans can’t, such a system could allow the phone to unlock in complete darkness,” Mims reports. “Since Apple’s existing fingerprint sensor can already verify payments in stores via Apple Pay, it makes sense that Apple’s phones could also enable payments through face recognition in the future.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And it will be very secure.

Apple’s 3D Face ID will recognize user’s face within millionths of a second – August 21, 2017
Apple’s leaked HomePod firmware shows iPhone 8 likely to abandon Touch ID in favor of ‘Pearl ID’ facial recognition – August 3, 2017


  1. people were afraid that someone will chop of their thumb for fingerprints to be able to steal from you.. with face.. they don’t need to do anything but aim it at you?
    I hope it’s smarter than that..

    1. In the future the sensors will get smart enough to see if someone is choking you or poking a knife in your back. Or will it start to smell the pheromones of fear from you or something? Or when everybody will have chips implanted under their skulls then this all will not be necessary?

    2. You’re talking about an unusual case. I’m sure if someone wanted to get into your iPhone they could likely coerce you to give up passcodes or forcibly place your finger on the touch sensor. I see your interesting point but they’ll still have to grab your iPhone at some point in which case they’d probably be on the run and not pointing the iPhone at your face. I guess a skilled pickpocket could manage it, though.

      1. So if it’s only detecting the surface of your face, wouldn’t a good life model cast work? Not saying it’s quick but may be one way the system could be bypassed. Now that portable scanning and reconstruction of 3D objects via 2D pics are advancing with 3D printing the method is not far a stretch.

    3. They will retain the 4 digit or 6 digit pin code for phone restarts and excessive inactivity or by USER choice….
      No way the phone just scans u and opens….

  2. That jack-stupid Hargreaves has the gall to say consumers won’t buy an iPhone without TouchID because they might be skeptical of 3D FacialID technology. Where do analysts get these ideas from? I’m sure once a consumer tries 3D FacialID and it works just as well as TouchID, there would be no good reason to not buy an iPhone. The trend I see on Youtube is leaning toward 3D FacialID being a slick new technology. I think it might take some marketing and time to show that 3D FacialID is just as secure, accurate and fast as TouchID. Like any new tech, it will take some time but I don’t see how consumers are going to be opposed to something that works well.

    My belief is that once consumers try it, they’ll like it and it will be a major attraction for potential iPhone purchasers. I believe it will help sales and not hinder sales. Only time will tell. If 3D FacialID is a success, you can count on all the Android flagship smartphones following Apple using it. Apple will be forced to take the initial heat of critics and then the other smartphone manufacturers will neatly slide right in step.

    Everyone curses Apple for not making changes, then when a change is made, they’re still cursing Apple for making the change without universal approval. Knuckleheads.

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