Apple spins lack of under-display Touch ID in favor of Face ID

Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio is putting the kibosh on talk that the company ever wanted an under-display fingerprint sensor for Touch ID on the iPhone X.

Fate has come to show that it opted to go through with facial recognition utilizing a dot-matrix echo. It’s not only going to power Face ID, but features like Animoji and other aesthetic purposes as well.

Talking with Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch for his review of the iPhone X, Riccio said:

I heard some rumor [that] we couldn’t get Touch ID to work through the glass so we had to remove that. When we hit early line of sight on getting Face ID to be [as] good as it was, we knew that if we could be successful we could enable the product that we wanted to go off and do and if that’s true it could be something that we could burn the bridges and be all in with. This is assuming it was a better solution. And that’s what we did. So we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side because if we did those things, which would be a last-minute change, they would be a distraction relative to enabling the more important thing that we were trying to achieve, which was Face ID done in a high-quality way.

Talk about distraction, there was reporting from Fast Company claiming that there was a panic inside software development — the department across from Riccio’s — over the delays and deadlines for those features that are enabled by the TrueDepth camera. But then again, they are just rumors after all.

All this to say that Apple has also reportedly been facing trouble producing reliable TrueDepth units up until recentlyBloomberg even reported that the accuracy specification for Face ID was reduced to allow for more yield to come into final production. Apple has denied that reporting as well.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.