Apple's newest iPhone, the iPhone X, will launch this year with Face ID as the way to unlock the device. That technology may soon replace the long-used Touch ID starting in 2018 with not just the iPhone X — but all iPhones going forward.
So says long-time Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in an investors note spied by AppleInsider. Kuo, with KGI Securities, believes that Apple will abandon Touch ID — the tool that allows iPhone owners to open their phone with just their fingerprint — for Face ID.
Apple unveiled its newest tool earlier this year which will launch first with the iPhone X, embedding the new iPhone with multiple sensors, lights and cameras crucial on the front of the device to making Face ID's facial recognition technology work. These include a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, an illuminator that pushes out infrared light, a dot projector to help map the face and an infrared camera. Needless to say, the iPhone we carry in our pocket today doesn't have these.
Face ID works, in part, by projecting a dot matrix across the face to map the contours of its surface.Touch ID launched with iPhone 5S in September 2013 and has been the way iPhone users unlock their device since then — when the technology works. The biometric tool isn't perfect, requiring user input their security code as a backup — particularly if the Touch ID sensor determines that too many unsuccessful attempts have been made to unlock the phone.
That's apparently what happened during Apple's big unveil last month, when Apple's Craig Federighi (senior vice president of Software Engineering) could not unlock the iPhone X while live on stage. The company later said that the device had tried to read too many other attempts earlier.
With the iPhone X not even yet available for pre-orders (those open October 27) Face ID has yet to be tested by consumers on a wide scale. The first iPhone X is set to hit shelves, and into the hands of buyers, November 3.