iPhone 8’s amazing facial recognition is super quick, works in the dark


face tracking
Apple's new face recognition will be a game changer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 8’s facial recognition feature will work “within a few hundred milliseconds,” be more secure than the existing Touch ID sensor, and even work in the dark, a pair of new reports claim.

In addition to the regular iPhone sensors you’d expect to find, the upcoming handset will reportedly boast a new “structured light” sensor, which uses bounced infrared light to work out the depth of different points on the face.

That information is then used to build a 3D mesh of objects, which is compared to the one recorded when setting up the new iPhone. Calculating the timing between when infrared light is sent out and recorded coming back will let the iPhone work out accurate depth measurements. This, in turn, means you won’t be able to trick the handset using a 2D photo.

iPhone 8 facial recognition tech

The iPhone 8’s advanced facial recognition capabilities will reportedly let Apple do away with the physical Home button and its built-in Touch ID sensor. That means iPhone 8 owners won’t need to use a fingerprint to unlock their devices or conduct Apple Pay transactions

The facial recognition is reportedly powered by tech Apple acquired when it bought Kinect motion sensor maker PrimeSense several years ago. At the time, the deal was valued at being between $300 million and $360 million.

The speed that the iPhone 8 facial recognition sensor will reportedly work is particularly impressive. The new handset will allegedly be able to do all of this within “a few hundred milliseconds,” which would make it a faster means of unlocking your iPhone than the current-generation Touch ID, Apple has been using Touch ID since 2013’s iPhone 5s.

Are you convinced that facial recognition is a worthy substitute for Touch ID? Leave your comments below.

Source: Korea Herald and Wall Street Journal

  • Arnold Ziffel

    Uh, a few hundred milliseconds equals a couple of tenths of a second.

  • Demonstr8r

    No, I don’t think it is suitable for a complete replacement of Touch ID.

    • igorsky

      Your subjective assessment clearly makes this official.

  • Linked Devices

    A few hundred milliseconds is just a fact way of saying less than a second which is already how fast all facial and iris recognition works. Why would it take any longer?

    • Jay

      They need to convince its as fast as Touch ID if not faster.

      • Linked Devices

        That makes sense. I wonder how long they brain stormed of the weird choice. Under a second, a split second, a few hundred milliseconds. A few thousandths of a minute. A few millionths of an hour. A few billionths of a day.

  • Jay

    Hope it still works during masked parties, or wearing scarves in the winter..

    • igorsky

      Or gloves in the winter for Touch ID?

      • Jay

        Wet finger tip scanning needs to get better too lol

  • Serge

    Will it work when I’m wearing sunglasses? Or if I don’t shave for a week?