iPhone 8 May Include Facial and Gesture Recognition

The next-generation iPhone 8, set to debut this September, could include facial or gesture recognition technology, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. The facial recognition capabilities could be powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera.

We’ve previously heard rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning, both from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo and from details sourced from the Asian supply chain.

With facial recognition, Apple could replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone or augment its functionality with a two-factor verification system for sensitive information. In this scenario, unlocking the iPhone would require users to scan their faces, something that would increase security on iOS devices.

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Facial recognition could also power other features on the phone, like augmented reality camera functions, and while gesture recognition is a new rumor, it could allow users to control their devices with simple gestures for doing things like turning volume up or down.

Capabilities like gesture control and facial recognition are also some of the first steps towards a rich augmented reality experience, something Apple is rumored to be working on.

Arcuri also reiterates several rumors we’ve previously heard. He believes Apple will launch a total of three iPhones, the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch models and a new higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display.

The 5.8-inch iPhone, he says, will feature a wraparound display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that is located under the glass, a technology Apple has been pursuing for some time. Wireless charging, a much-rumored and highly desired feature, is also expected.

Today’s report from Timothy Arcuri covers many rumors that have been circulating for a few months, which is similar to much of the information that comes from the analyst. Cowen and Company has something of a mixed track record, but accurately predicted some iPhone 7 features.

iPhone 8 Plus model likely to use curved US-made Sharp OLED display

Japan’s Nikkei again reports on upcoming features for Apple’s next iPhone just a month after the launch of the iPhone 7. Three days ago, it reported that there would be 3 versions of the all glass-backed iPhone 8 line including a 5-inch screen model. Today the news organization is reporting that at least the biggest model will use a OLED and Sharp could be making some of those future OLED displays in the US.

“The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels,” Tai told students at Tatung University, his alma mater, during a ceremony in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. “We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity,”

After the Foxconn purchase of Sharp was finalized in August, Tai, a close associate of Chairman Terry Gou, was appointed CEO of Sharp. Foxconn, known as Hon Hai, is of course Apple’s principal manufacturer of iPhones.

Apple’s next iPhone, called ‘iPhone 8’ by many because of its rumored sweeping changes, is also expected to do away with the physical touch button and place touchID behind the display among many other innovations. Bloomberg previously reported that Sharp OLED iPhones would have to wait until 2018.

OLED displays offer sharper color contrast compared to LTPS screens that iPhones have traditionally used. Apple’s competitors including Samsung, LG, Motorola and others have been using OLED for quite some time and Apple and its proxies have often labelled OLED technology as “oversaturated”. Apple began using OLED displays on Apple Watch last year.

Perhaps most interesting about the report is that the displays could be made, at least in part in the US. Sharp only does very limited OLED production currently.

“We are now building a new [OLED] facility in Japan. We can make [OLED panels] in the U.S. too,” he said. “If our key customer demands us to manufacture in the U.S., is it possible for us not to do so?”

Previously it had been reported that Samsung would make the curved OLED display for Apple’s iPhone 8 but as we know, Apple likes to have multiple suppliers for key components, especially when one of those suppliers is Samsung.

 

iPhone 8 concept fast-forwards fanboys to 2018.

Photo: Steel Drake/Behance

Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 began just over two months ago, but I’m already looking forward to shelling out cash for the iPhone 8 now that Steel Drake published this glass unibody iPhone concept.

The design keeps its familiar form factor but wraps the bottom and top edges with a glass display. Given Apple’s success rate with Sapphire glass, making this thing might not be conceivable until 2018, but there’s still plenty of time for Jony to make it happen. The designer decided to swap out the rear aluminum shell with a stiffening plate on the sides. The finished look is simple, a little curvy, and drop dead gorgeous.

Check it out:

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Steel Drake’s concept looks like something Apple could possibly make, but there are a few things I’d change if I could.

Likes: Curved glass edges that drape over the top and bottom of the phone. Keeps the same iconic iPhone form factor. Camera lens could use an upgrade by now, but at least it’s not protruding. No more ugly antenna lines.

No Like: Glass doesn’t transition as seamlessly to the metal as the iPhone 6. Put the power button in the middle. 3.5mm headphone jack? Rumor is Jony wants to go with 2.5mm. Make the bezels slimmer so I can hold it easier.

iPhone 8 concept. Photo: Steel Drake

It’d look great in white too:

White iPhone 8 concept. Photo: Steel Drake