Apple released the early firmware for its upcoming HomePod smart speaker, set for a December launch, late last week. The pre-release firmware reveals references to the iPhone 8’s much-rumored infrared face detection and bezel-less design.
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
Developer Steven Troughton-Smith on Sunday published his findings after examining the first-release firmware. It reveals that the upcoming “iPhone 8” will include infrared facial recognition technology designed to securely unlock the device. The feature has been long-rumored to be part of the new flagship device’s feature set.
Troughton-Smith discovered the firmware also includes numerous references to infrared face detection within the BiometricKit framework, that is where Touch ID authentication resides, indicating the new handset will at least in part rely on facial recognition.
“FaceDetect” methods are present within BiometricKit to handle various use circumstances such as a face being to close or too far from the camera, multiple faces, and more. Other references indicate infrared capture in BiometricKit, indicating the much-rumored front-facing infrared sensors will be involved in capturing images for user authentication, in place of the traditional front-facing camera.
While Apple is expected to unveil their new flagship iPhone in September, numerous rumors have indicated the device’s availability may be delayed due to production snafus. Apple has reportedly experienced difficulty getting a new Touch ID sensor, located beneath the device’s OLED display, to function properly. This may be the impetus for a move to facial recognition for user identification and authentication purposes.