A virtually unknown smartphone manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere a little over six months ago, China’s Vivo made a splash as the first to commercially integrate in-display fingerprint recognition technology, quickly boosting and consolidating its reputation as an industry pioneer with the APEX concept, which came to market as the NEX.

But the greatly ambitious and surprisingly resourceful OEM is not done “shifting paradigms”, with a potentially Apple-crushing TOF 3D sensing breakthrough now in the pipeline. This is “no mere proof of concept”, Vivo insists, having already been tested and certified as meeting industry standards required for integration with “current apps soon.”

In a nutshell, although analysts estimated companies like Vivo were a whopping two years behind Apple in Face ID development just this spring, the newly showcased Time of Flight 3D sensing technology is actually more complex than existing “structured light” solutions.

A record 300,000 sensor points (10 times the number boasted by the iPhone X) aim to raise the 3D mapping bar by accurately detecting objects situated up to three meters in front of the new 3D scanner.

That should result in significantly faster, more precise and secure facial authentication for future Vivo phones, but also various “new opportunities in facial, gesture and motion recognition, 3D photography and AR.”

The Chinese OEM is offering exciting examples including enhanced 3D virtual fitting to try on clothes without… actually trying them on, as well as scanning “critical parts” of the body for medical purposes, and using AI to beautify a photo according to the “entire person.” But truly, the sky is the limit for all the incredible ways in which such a revolutionary new technology could change our interaction with handsets and other smart devices.

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