Apple Pioneers 3D Facial Recognition While Qualcomm Struggles

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The revolutionary new 3D sensing camera technology Apple is slated to debut in its high-end iPhone 8 flagship is years ahead of its closest competition, according to a research note submitted by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In his note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, Kuo noted how Apple’s closest competitor in the 3D sensing space, Qualcomm, is “at least two years” behind in the development of its own 3D sensing technology, citing specifically that the majority of Android handset-makers are not in a rush to embrace 3D sensing technology just yet.

Apple is reportedly going all 3D on the iPhone 8 this year, and will likely even be foregoing a traditional Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of a 3D sensing technology dubbed ‘Face ID’ on the high-end device. The iPhone 8’s advanced optics will reportedly boast a front- and rear-facing VCSEL system, infrared technology enabling it to function in various environments, and will even be able to authenticate and authorize Apple Pay transactions while lying flat.

We recently learned, however, that Apple’s futuristic 3D sensors will be capable of scanning faces to unlock a device in “millionths of a second.” And therefore, the technology will work much quicker than Touch ID, which it is supposed to replace on the flagship iPhone.

Qualcomm’s Struggle

According to Kuo’s research note, a number of key issues are contributing to Qualcomm’s inability to create 3D sensing tech sufficient for the mass-market. Kuo notes that Qualcomm is currently being plagued by issues ranging from immature algorithms, to thermal problems caused by unfavorable designs, and more, in its unsuccessful attempts to develop 3D sensors on par with Apple.

“While Qualcomm is the most engaged company in the R&D of 3D sensing for the Android camp, we are conservative as regards progress toward significant shipments and don’t see it happening until 2019,” Kuo noted.

Apple’s implementation of 3D facial recognition is said to be among iPhone 8’s most promising new enhancements. Of course, only time will tell if Apple can again lead the way in innovation with its 3D imaging technology, however for the time being, it appears that most Android OEMs are taking a “wait and see” approach to 3D sensing, likely to see if Apple offers users an experience worth replicating on their own.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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