It all started when Apple accidentally published the firmware for its upcoming HomePod AI smart speaker yesterday. Developers were quick to capitalize on Apple’s error and downloaded the code to start sniffing for any hidden treasures (HomePod runs a version of iOS). Well, it didn’t take long for developers to spot references in the device’s code to other Apple products — namely the upcoming iPhone 8.
I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere pic.twitter.com/yLsgCx7OTZ— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) July 31, 2017
The first confirmation of upcoming iPhone 8 features is with regards to its face detection. More specifically, the iPhone 8 allegedly uses an infrared camera that can accurately scan your face even in the dark. There are lines of code that reference “BKFaceDetect” along with error messages that detail when you’re face is not close enough to the camera and timeout phases for detection. There’s even a reference to multiple faces in the code, perhaps allowing more than one person to unlock a device.
The bezel-less iPhone image can be extracted from Payment_glyph_phone-D22.caar in PassKitUIFoundation.framework with the code pictured pic.twitter.com/HAyDO0E931— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) July 31, 2017
But perhaps the biggest takeaway from the HomePod leak is that an image was discovered that clearly shoes an outline of the upcoming iPhone 8. This particular leak clearly confirms the designs for the smartphone that we have seen over the past few months including the relatively thin bezels and the display “cutout” for the sensor pack at the top of the device. That sensor pack includes the FaceTime HD camera, ambient light sensor and infrared cameras.
It is unknown if the infrared cameras will completely supplant Touch ID or if they will be used as an alternative authentication method. Regardless of how it’s used, it’s quite shocking to see such leaks coming from Apple. But we aren’t complaining; we always love a good leak no matter where it comes from.