The most exciting component Apple will pack into iPhone 8 has supposedly leaked out early. The module pictured above is what will allegedly provide the tenth-anniversary iPhone with impressive facial recognition capabilities that could one day replace Touch ID.
It’s still not clear if iPhone 8 will offer Touch ID, but some reports have warned that the beloved fingerprint scanner will disappear in favor of 3D facial recognition. To most fans, that seems like a bad move — but Apple could have something special up its sleeve.
The facial recognition hardware we’re familiar with today can be slow and unreliable. However, Apple has reportedly developed a “revolutionary” sensor that’s two years ahead of the competition, with ultra-fast sensing that works even in the dark.
That’s because its sensor consists of three parts: A standard front-facing camera, an infrared transmitter, and an infrared receiver. They work together to identify your face with incredible accuracy in “a millionth of a second.”
The camera itself could also offer 4K video recording at 60 frames-per-second for sharper FaceTime calls and photos, according to information revealed by Apple’s HomePod firmware.
According to SlashLeaks, the image above reveals that 3D facial recognition module for the first time. It doesn’t carry an Apple logo or any identification numbers, so we can’t confirm it’s genuine, but it’s the first time we’ve seen a sensor like this.
Don’t rule out Touch ID for iPhone 8 just yet, however. A video that surfaced on Chinese social network Weibo appears to show iPhone 8 with a rear-facing Touch ID scanner going through a quality control process.
Apple’s plans for the future are still somewhat blurry for now, then, but we have less than a month to wait before we find out exactly what iPhone 8 will deliver.