Given that we’re quickly approaching Spring, next generation iPhone rumors are really starting to pick up steam. The iPhone is coming up on its tenth anniversary, which means that people are expecting something really big from Apple for the fall reveal of the iPhone 8.
The latest news to come down from the rumor mill is that the flagship smartphone will include 3D facial recognition technology thanks to the help of a laser scanner. In his research note, JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall says that the scanner will replace Touch ID, and has the potential to be more a secure method of authentication.
While the adoption of a laser scanner is probable, it seems a bit premature to suggest that it will completely supplant Touch ID. We already know that Apple is working on next generation Touch ID technology that reads your fingerprint using sensors that are embedded within the actual display panel. Using this technology would allow the iPhone 8 to have an unbroken display touch surface and dispense with the circular Touch ID panel on the current iPhone 7 and previous generation flagships.
We could see the laser scanner, however, being used as an alternative in situations where Touch ID is not reliable, or simply won’t work (i.e. with gloved, dirty or wet hands). The two technologies also could have the potential to be used together to create a two-factor authentication system, as was reported earlier this year by well-respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The report of a 3D facial laser scanner joins other iPhone 8 rumors that suggest that the smartphone will feature an OLED display, stainless-steel frame with a glass back, and support for wireless charging. The addition of all this technology also leads some credence to the report that iPhone 8 pricing could top $1,000 when it is announced in September.