Move aside Touch-ID: Facial recognition is coming to Apple iPad and iPhone
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook must be doing a victory lap, right about now. Stocks have never soared higher, sales figures are at an all-time high, and Apple Inc is sitting on more than $300 billion in cash.
If there is one thing Apple is known for, is that it never runs out of ideas on how to use its money, which is most often rumored, and very top-secret R&D.
The only clues into what Apple might come up with next, aside from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo’s crystal ball, are provided by the virtually never ending US Patents and Trademarks Office website, whose database provides regular insight into the most secretive tech companies in the world, at least for those who have the patience and time.
The latest of these rumors, sources cited by Barron’s Next, point to a near future where Apple devices will support 3D laser scanning and 3D sensing technology for AR and VR applications, and will be featured in the next Apple iPhone.
The form in which this technology will be integrated in the iPhone 8, as JPMorgan’s Rod Hall speculates, however may not be as exciting as most may think.
It’s very unlikely that Apple will integrate full-on immersive VR in the iPhone or even in the iPad Pro, but the technology will still be there, while serving another purpose: biometric security.
Much like Intel RealSense 3D cameras, the tech Apple is allegedly experimenting with, can be used for 3D laser scanning that allows to recognize a subject’s face, no longer as a simple 2D image, but as an actual object in a 3D space.
By this token. it’s virtually impossible to fool a biometric 3D scanner, as it analyzes not only the subject’s face, and vascular makeup, via infrared sensors, it also ensures that the subject is actually really present in the 3D space, by scanning for its position in 3D.
This method is not only extremely effective by contemporary standards, but also future-proof. Today, the most typical ways to try and fool a face recognition software into unlocking a device, would be to either show a photograph of the subject, or to make a 3D mold of the subject’s head and hair, realistically painted or 3D printed to size.
In the future, holograms and other methods may be employed by future hackers, to break into devices and computer systems. Fortunately, the technology to deter these types of attack exists now, and Apple might just be able to integrate it into future mobile devices like iPhone and iPad Pro, as well as in Macs.
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