iPhone 8 Rumor Roundup: Laser Focusing, Touch ID and Other Features

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iPhone 8 rumor roundup

We are once again a week closer to the release of Apple’s tenth anniversary iPhone. Last week’s news about the iPhone 8 were filled with new revelations about its supported features and hardware.

For one, last week was the first time we heard about the new laser focusing hardware to be included on the smartphone. Furthermore, there were also some news that are somewhat unpalatable but totally unacceptable in today’s standards.

Laser focusing hardware for AR and photo improvements

Starting off with a new rumour for the iPhone 8, Fast Company has reported that Apple’s design engineers are currently working on a prototype for a laser focusing hardware. This new hardware is based on the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser design that are used on most high-end Android phones.

According to the report, this piece of tech will help improve the augmented reality as well as image capture capture capabilities of the iPhone 8.

For AR, this piece of hardware will enable the phone to scan the depth of the users’ surrounding. Normally, depth perception on 2D cameras are done via intelligent algorithms. With the use of the laser focusing hardware, the iPhone 8 will be able to sense the depth of the outside worth with much accuracy.

iPhone 8 rumor roundup

VCSEL module concept (via jpmorgan.com)

In addition to helping improve the AR features of the iPhone 8, the hardware will also be used in improving the imaging capabilities of the phone. Like in most expensive or top-of-the-line Android phones in the market, image focusing will be a lot faster and sharper compared to standard methods.

Unfortunately, there are no confirmations whether this piece of technology will make it to the iPhone 8. The report, however, said that Apple is currently investigating it to be featured on future iPhones. Nevertheless, there are still many days before the iPhone 8 launch. Apple might still turn around and include the laser focusing hardware on its upcoming iPhone lineup.

In-display Touch ID might still work

While Apple fans are celebrating the possibility of a new feature for the iPhone, an analyst, on the other hand, claims Apple still has a chance to make the in-display Touch ID work. According to Andy Hargreaves of KeyBanc Capital Markets, Apple still has until August to solve the issues of the Touch ID sensor. Beyond it, suppliers will not have enough time to manufacture the embedded Touch ID sensor before the iPhone 8’s release.

Hargreaves claims that it would take around 12 weeks for electronic component manufacturers to come up with an acceptable volume in order to fulfil orders from Apple.

3D facial recognition might not be a viable solution to security

Although a number of analysts have claimed that Apple will choose 3D facial recognition  against the Touch ID sensor, Hargreaves still believe that it may not be the best solution for mobile security. For one, the technology still suffers from inaccuracies and false logins like in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

iPhone 8 rumor roundup

3D facial scanning concept (via micc.unifi.it)

On the other hand, experts believe that the 3D solution will help ensure that the facial recognition feature of the iPhone 8 remain fool-proof. However, some experts still see a bit of dilemma with the use of camera for biometric scanning.

The main problem lies with the amount of light at any given time. During the day, using a camera for facial recognition is quite easy and actually doable. However, once the light intensity falls below acceptable levels for the camera, that is when things get trickier. The system may actually find it difficult to recognize an image taken in darkly lit environment. A camera, be it analog or digital, will need enough illumination in order for it to work properly.

3D facial recognition and wireless charging support to come later

Another conundrum in the iPhone 8 rumor mill is the iOS support for 3D facial recognition and wireless charging. According to Fast Company, Apple is considering shipping the iPhone 8 with both features disabled. The report said that the features will then be enabled at a later date; much like iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait Mode.

Unfortunately, this bit of news creates a dilemma. One, for the users and another for Apple.

If Apple somehow did not manage to sort out the Touch ID issue and ditch it altogether, users will be left with only facial recognition for security. Now, if 3D facial recognition support is not included in the release, users might find it a bit difficult to unlock their phones.

iPhone 8 rumor roundup

Wireless charger for Android (via amazon.com)

Furthermore, Apple’s online payment service might suffer as 2D facial recognition, as many would know, is not very safe. Without a proper biometric security hardware, like the Touch ID, Apple and users may be putting their online security at risk.

It is still too soon to say whether these rumors will eventually come true. Suffice to say, not having Touch ID on the iPhone 8 will definitely feel weird, especially for long time iPhone users.

Perhaps Apple’s so-called 3D facial recognition will work. Perhaps what it really needs is a good try. Nevertheless, With the ever increasing risks put to users on being connected to the Internet all the time, a more robust form of security is much needed.

In a few months, Apple will finally unveil the iPhone 8 to the world. But before then and now, there will surely be more rumors flying around about Apple’s next-generation smartphone. For more updates on the iPhone 8, be sure to check us out at The Bitbag.

Also read: Luxury Phone Maker Vertu Folds After 20 Years of Making Expensive Handsets

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