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Analyst: 2017 iPhone may offer facial recognition (but I’d not bet on this until 2018)

In a note to clients — as noted by Business Insider — Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri said that the “iPhone 8” could include “some form of facial/gesture recognition.”

He writes: “Other features appear to include some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera and, as expected, should also finally include wireless charging.”

Cowen is also expecting a new 5.8-inch iPhone in addition to existing 4.7- and 5.5-inch models. The super-sized smartphone will reportedly have an OLED screen, which uses less power and produces deeper blacks. Cowen prognosticates that the 5.8-inch model will have a “wraparound” design and will integrate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor “under the glass and in the active display area.”

My crystal ball says he’s probably right about a 5.8-inch model. However, I don’t think we’ll see facial recognition this year. But it is coming, both for iOS and Mac devices.

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,477,829) for “locking and unlocking a mobile device using facial recognition.” Per the patent, an unlocked mobile device is configured to capture images, analyze the images to detect a user’s face, and automatically lock the device in response to determining that a user’s face doesn’t appear in the images. The camera capturing and face recognition processing may be triggered by the device having detected that it has been motionless for a set period of time. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.