Next year’s iPhone may be the first ever Apple product that can be unlocked just by looking at it, based on the latest rumor out of Asia that claims Apple plans to add iris scanning even sooner than we thought.
Previous rumors claimed eye-scanning won’t come until 2018, but a report from Digitimes reveals that Apple may have already tapped the Taiwanese company Xintec to provide iris-recognition chips for the 2017 iPhone.
Xintec, an affiliate of longtime Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is set to start fulfilling new orders for new iris-recognition solutions in the fourth quarter of 2016, with mass production ramping up in 2017.
“Xintec is expected to enter mass production for iris-recognition chips in 2017, which will boost the backend house’s revenues for the year,” Digitimes reports. “New orders for iris-recognition sensors include those for the chips that will be embedded in the 2017 series of iPhone.”
The 10th anniversary iPhone that will launch next year is expected to come with some of the biggest changes Apple has ever made, including a curved all-glass body with no home button.
Adding eye scanning to iPhone would add a new way for owners to unlock the device while also allowing Jony Ive’s design team to shrink the iPhone’s footprint overall. Digitimes has a mixed track record on the time table of Apple releases though so make sure to grab a giant salt shaker before getting your hopes up for a Minority Report style future.