Future iPhones May Combine Face Recognition and Camera Modules for a Smaller Notch

iPhone X Lock screen No Notifications Locked

The “notch design” in the iPhone X is a polarizing element of the smartphone, with some saying it isn’t that big of a deal, and others suggesting it’s one of the worst design decisions to date.

The size of the notch is certainly part of that complaint. It takes up a large chunk of the top part of the iPhone X’s display, and, as a result, leaves only two small sections of display to flank it. The reason being, is that Apple uses the TrueDepth camera system, which means a lot of the technology that makes Face ID possible is spread out throughout the notch.

According to ETNews, that could be changing soon. The publication has published a story that details how Apple’s efforts to focus on facial recognition for biometric security will see the company developing new ways of implementing the technology. And, as a result, it will combine the facial recognition module and the camera module, which could mean Apple may shrink the notch in iPhones of the future.

Here’s the important bit from the report:

“According to industries, it is heard that Apple is planning to strengthen face sensing function starting from 2019 models. That is why it is planning to increase number of parts that will be used for iPhones and is looking into combination of a face recognition module with a camera module.”

The report is actually light on details, and prompts more questions as a result. Face ID takes advantage of not just only one module, as it requires an infrared camera, dot projector, and a flood illuminator. There is no indication of how Apple could combine all of those things, just a statement that industry sources suggest Apple is working on that idea.

The report also points to LG Innotec making moves to be a supplier for the face recognition parts. LG hasn’t confirmed that Apple is the company it’s vying for with these investments, but that appears to be the belief at this point.

As for when we might see these iPhones with a smaller notch, the earliest appears to be 2019. Even then, it might be something that Apple is looking further than that, considering it’s a hardware situation that needs to be addressed. So if you aren’t a fan of the current notch, it looks like 2018 might not offer any fixes.

Our Take

The notch design is a peculiar one to say the least, and it isn’t too surprising that so many people aren’t a fan of it. And it stands to argue that Apple could simply level out the top bezel of the iPhone, but then the iPhone would look almost identical to every other smartphone out there with a minimized bezel. Even if Apple shrinks the notch, this report also seems to confirm that it isn’t going away entirely. A smaller notch might make it more palatable, though.

[via ETNews]