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iPhone X’s Face ID feature has Android rivals interested in advanced facial recognition

Published Oct 8th, 2017 1:30PM EDT
iPhone X Face ID
Image: Apple Inc.

The influence Apple exerts across the smartphone industry is undeniable, so much so that Android handset manufacturers are already adjusting their product roadmaps in response to the iPhone X’s new Face ID feature. According to MacRumors, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently issued a new research note stating that “inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies have at least tripled since Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology.”

It’s worth mentioning that the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system, while primarily used as the foundation for Face ID, has the potential to enhance the user experience in a myriad of other ways, with the introduction of the quirky Animoji feature being just one example.

Even though Apple’s Android rivals are taking up an interest in more advanced camera schemes, it may be a while before we see something comparable actually land on Android. Just a few days ago, Kuo, in another research note, said that Apple’s TrueDepth camera system is so complex that it will likely take Android manufacturers upwards of two and a half years before they’re able to catch up.

Incidentally, it’s been widely reported that the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system is the reason why the device is launching so late into the year. As we reported previously, the iPhone X’s dot projector — the component which illuminates a user’s face with 30,000 infrared dots — was far more challenging to manufacture at scale than Apple anticipated. Consequently, iPhone X supply is said to be extremely limited at launch, so much so that many eager buyers may have to wait until 2018 before they’re able to get their hands on Apple’s flagship iPhone.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.