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iPhone 8’s Face ID explained and demonstrated

By Jules Wang September 10, 2017, 6:51 pm

A copy of the final version of iOS 11, also known as the “Gold Master,” leaks out and developers are mining the pile for clues as to how all the new features of the iPhone 8 work. One of them will be the new Face ID authentication process that will replace Touch ID.

Developer Guilherme Rambo posted a screen capture clip featuring the iOS 11 interface on a settings page — note the status bar at top with blank space in the center and the “ears” of information, reflecting the physical design iPhone 8’s display. The video details the process to set up facial recognition for the iPhone 8, likely to be publicized as the iPhone X (ten).


Setting up Face ID — previously referenced as “Pearl ID” — involves opening up the camera and having the user gently tilt their head upwards and then in a clockwise direction to the point where the phone’s 3D scanners have taken in enough data. Users can enroll multiple faces on a single account (be it device or iCloud, we aren’t sure at the moment).

Face ID can be used to unlock the iPhone, authenticate iTunes and App Store transactions, authenticate sensitive AutoFill information in Safari and, yes, verify Apple Pay purchases according to Jeffrey Grossman.

So, how does it work? KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo wrote in a note that the top-center “notch” in the front holds optical and light sensors that, through software, aggregate multiple images in the scanning process into a 3D master. The proximity sensor ensures that the user is holding the phone in the right fashion for an optimal scan — between 50 to 100cm. All these sensors must be aligned correctly at the point of assembly. Any bezel or edge material on the front of any color iPhone 8 will colored black to reduce the profile of those sensors.

As a bonus fact, the ambient light sensor will enable “True Tone” settings for better color temperature control. It is said that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus upgrades (aka, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus) will also feature True Tone.

We should learn more about the iPhone X at an event on September 12.


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