Until last week, there were rumors that the iPhone 8 may either come with a fingerprint scanner integrated in the OLED display or Apple may place it at the rear like the Samsung Galaxy S8.
In-screen Fingerprint Solution
I am quite skeptical about Apple embedding the fingerprint scanner in the display, as we are yet to see widespread use of the technology. Qualcomm recently introduced an in-screen fingerprint solution which was showcased by Vivo last week. But analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that it suffers from slow response times, which rules out the chances of Apple using it. Apple’s legal issues with Qualcomm would be another reason why Apple may not want to work with them.
Touch ID at the rear of the iPhone 8
There have also been rumors that since iPhone 8 is expected to feature a “notch design” and sport the highest screen-to-body ratio for a smartphone with almost bezel-less screen, Apple may end up placing Touch ID at the rear of the device. I really hope that Apple doesn’t go for that solution as I have been using the fingerprint scanner at the rear on my Nexus 6P, and while it is not a deal-breaker, it is not as convenient as having the fingerprint scanner in the front.
Kuo then dropped a bombshell over the weekend by claiming that iPhone 8 may not come with Touch ID, and Apple may replace it with a facial recognition system powered by a new 3D sensor. Mark Gurman writing for Bloomberg, also corroborated the speculation claiming that Apple is indeed considering dropping Touch ID altogether.
For its redesigned iPhone, set to go on sale later this year, Apple is testing an improved security system that allows users to log in, authenticate payments, and launch secure apps by scanning their face, according to people familiar with the product. This is powered by a new 3-D sensor, added the people, who asked not to be identified discussing technology that’s still in development. The company is also testing eye scanning to augment the system, one of the people said.
When I first used the facial recognition system in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7, I found it quite awkward probably because I’m so used to using the fingerprint sensor or entering the passcode before that. It felt kind of abrupt.
We are so used to Touch ID, which works so well, that we are resistant to the idea of it being replaced. So the outrage over the rumors is not surprising. There are also concerns that the facial recognition system can be easily fooled. There are other drawbacks of the facial recognition system. The current facial recognition systems are also slower than the fingerprint scanner and you have to hold the device at a particular angle to get it to work, which can be quite annoying.
But when you think about how Apple has made improvements to unlocking the iPhone, it seems logical to transition to a system like facial recognition that works without even touching the device. I expect Apple’s facial recognition solution to be a lot more secure, especially since we will need to use it for payments. Gruman claims that the company is also testing eye scanning to augment the system. It could be one of the wow factors of the iPhone 8 if Apple’s solution is significantly better and addresses the current limitations of the facial recognition system.
If I had to choose between the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s available on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, fingerprint scanner in the display, fingerprint scanner at the rear or facial recognition to unlock the iPhone, I would prefer the facial recognition system. How about you? Take a poll below to let us know which one would be the preferred solution to unlock iPhone 8, and tell us the reasons in the comments section below.