You see that big ugly circle thing on the iPhone? It’s because of that darned home button that Apple hasn’t been able to reduce the positively massive chin on its flagship smartphone. Regardless of how things turn out, it’s looking like the upcoming iPhone 8 (possibly called the iPhone X or iPhone Anniversary Edition or iPhone Edition) will be getting rid of that thing. And the latest rumors are pointing toward 3D face scanning.

Over the past several months, the rumors surrounding the iPhone 8 have flip-flopped and flop-flipped between several different possibilities, all of which point toward an increased screen-to-body ratio a la the Galaxy S8. It’s possible that they could move Touch ID to the back of the phone, similar to how the fingerprint reader is implemented on many Android phones. They could make the bold move of using an in-screen fingerprint sensor, like what might happen with the Galaxy Note 8. Or, it could be this.

Among the myriad of other rumors — like wireless charging, the implementation of an AI chip called the Apple Neural Engine, the use of an OLED screen, and the return of the dual camera configuration — it looks like Touch ID on the iPhone 8 could be replaced with 3D face scanning. Other devices have done facial recognition before, but many have been faked out by photos of people too.

The 3D face scanning technology should help to overcome this, possibly leveraging similar (but simplified) technology as what we get with Windows Hello-enabled devices. Maybe. It’ll mean your selfies will actually be useful, authenticating everything from mobile payments to app purchases, plus unlocking your phone. Some reports point toward a new 3D sensor. Some also indicate eye scanning could be used to augment or supplement the system.


Of course, Apple could change its mind again between now and September, so time will tell. Here’s the Bloomberg video on the matter.

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