KGI Apple Exploring Facial Recognition And Two-Step Touch ID For IPhone 8

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published a research report today which focuses on the upcoming 2017 iPhone. The report includes new biometric identification tech, along with new display assembly to accommodate an OLED display with 3D Touch support.

Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.

Kuo also says that Apple is working on a new Touch ID technology “to complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design and to enhance transactions security.” Kuo believes that the current “under glass” design does not accommodate the requirements for a full screen fingerprint sensor, which means an “under panel” sensor placement is required.

With that being said, Kuo states that Apple will switch from a capacitive-style sensor to a optical-style system. The technology is still in its early stages of development and OLED display manufacturers will have to make custom displays in order to accommodate Apple’s request.

Arguably, the most important thing from the report is that Kuo noted that fingerprint recognition systems will “ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system” for better security.

Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security.

Assuming that this isn’t too difficult to achieve within the given time frame, Kuo believes that if this comes to fruition, Apple has another “paradigm shift” for security on smartphones.

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