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Prepare to be shocked: Android companies plan to copy the iPhone X

Published Nov 17th, 2017 1:53PM EST
Android vs. iPhone X
Image: Apple Inc.

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Guess which iPhone X feature will probably be copied by every other company in the industry? If you said “the notch” you’re right. But I’m not talking about the actual notch design on the iPhone X. It’s what’s inside the notch that rightfully deserves to be copied.

The TrueDepth front-facing camera system that enables Apple’s 3D facial recognition system, aka Face ID, is something no Android phone can offer right now. But that may change in the near future, as Android device makers are already looking to adopt 3D sensing in new models.

A Digitimes report says that more Android smartphone vendors are looking to secure 3D sensing components for new phone models, including Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi. Suppliers like Largan Precision, Sunny Optical, Orbbec, and Himax Technologies are supposed to provide the parts. These developments should also help Apple.

An earlier report said that Largan is looking to develop 3D-sensing camera components, a move that might help it secure Apple orders for TrueDepth camera components. Furthermore, Apple is rumored to equip other gadgets, including the iPad and the HomePod speaker, with Face ID modules.

Largan, meanwhile, is already a camera lens supplier for Apple and various Android device makers. The report says Largan currently “has advantages in terms of technology, patent, capacity, and design, and has solutions for 3D sensing receivers and transmitter lens modules.”

The report focuses on Chinese Android device makers and doesn’t mention other big names in the industry, such as Samsung, LG, HTC, or Google. But I’d bet that all of them are looking into 3D facial recognition systems as we speak. In fact, our own sources have already confirmed that Samsung is working on a Face ID copy for its upcoming phones.

Face ID has proven to be an excellent replacement for Touch ID on the iPhone, and I think it’s the best feature of the iPhone X. Android should, therefore, definitely steal 3D facial recognition, even if the regular kind of facial recognition seems to work just fine.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.