Apple Analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities has a new slew of developments revolving around touch technology.
Kuo claims that Apple is seeking to improve and flank Touch ID with advanced biometric authentication methods for future iPhones and iPads. As it has been implemented since its debut with the iPhone 5s, Touch ID has used a capacitive sensor to detect fingerprints. Word is that an optical sensor may take its place and be accompanied by facial recognition technology.
The iPhone 8 has long been envisioned and more recently rumored to feature a zero-bezel screen encompassing the entirety of the facade. Apple has patented a capacitive fingerprint sensor that can be coupled to the display layer that would theoretically enable users to authenticate their fingerprint from virtually anywhere on the iPhone’s screen.
Kuo claims that the components Apple is currently working with would not be able to carry out the company’s desired result. Infinite Loop is only beginning development of an optical sensor, one that can read past the signal interference of a rumored OLED display.
One of Apple’s supposed long-term goals is to replace Touch ID altogether with facial recognition. Those types of sensors will eventually come alongside the fingerprint reading that the iPhone does already. The two technologies will co-exist for at least a period of time.
Kuo has not attributed any of these specific changes to the iPhone 8, so we may have to keep this on background for the time being. He did, however, tie a second-generation 3D Touch component to the new iPhone. The new component will rely on a film sensor to detect more nuanced pressure changes and will be separated from a relatively fragile OLED screen by a metallic support structure. 3D Touch is an interface tool that allows users to trigger different elements based on how hard they tap the screen.
Foxconn subsidiary Sharp is also the focus of yet another KGI report. Ming-chi Kuo claims that the display maker will be supplying a majority of the screens for the MacBook and iPad over the next two fiscal years. It also wants to contend in vending OLED panels to Apple starting in 2019.