Apple said to be exploring face scanning technology for the iPhone

According to freshly-minted rumors posted by Bloomberg, Apple is looking to do away with the iPhone’s tried-and-true fingerprint reader altogether, in favor of face-unlocking technology. The move would mark a major shift away from Touch ID, a mainstay in Apple phones since the introduction of the 5S, back in late-2013.

The combination Touch ID/home button has been the source of a lot of speculation leading up to the iPhone 8’s release later this year. Previous rumors saw the company moving to a behind-the-screen haptic version, along the lines of what Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S8 earlier this year — something that seemed to be backed up by recently unearthed patent grants (though patents are a pretty spotty source for new features).

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who tends to have a pretty good track record with these sorts of things, noted the presence of “3D sensing for facial recognition” among the suspected additions to the phone in a report released back in March. That, in turn, lines up with a spate of rumors wherein Apple is buying up a ton of 3D cameras for devices — not to mention the fact that it picked up 3D sensor company PrimeSense back in 2013.

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