Apple's 'iPhone 8' facial recognition to aid in Apple Pay payments, code suggests

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2017
Code discovered in recently leaked HomePod firmware suggests Apple's "iPhone 8" will integrate facial recognition into the Apple Pay process, though it appears the technology will not completely replace physical Touch ID.




Developer Daniel Niyazov in a tweet on Wednesday noted references to "pearl," thought to be Apple's codename for "iPhone 8's" facial recognition feature, show up in leaked code associated with Apple Pay.

Over the weekend, Apple inadvertently released firmware for its upcoming HomePod speaker, revealing a trove of information regarding future products including what is thought to be a next-generation iPhone. Prior investigation of the code connected "pearl" and its various iterations to so-called "FaceDetect" features.

Niyazov conducted a search of the HomePod payload and came up with two particularly interesting "pearl" references. Specifically, the developer found "presentation.pearl.field-detect" and "presentation.pearl.pre-arm" code points in a section of the firmware dedicated to Passbook payments and Apple Pay.

While the exact nature of the pair of code lines is unknown, it seems Apple intends to utilize facial recognition technology as part of the Apple Pay process. In particular, "pearl.field-detect" suggests a method of recognizing when a user's face is within view of the handset's camera, a feature that might facilitate fast access -- "pearl.pre-arm" -- to the Apple Pay UI.

The code does not, however, imply that Apple is planning to rely solely on FaceDetect technology for Apple Pay authentication. Some have speculated that the company could make the switch to facial recognition with "iPhone 8," ditching Touch ID altogether. Considering Apple's intense approach to security, and considerable investment in Touch ID tech, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Apple's leak of its own software continues to yield the best look yet at the company's unannounced handset. Earlier today, code unearthed from the HomePod firmware release hinted at all new machine learning capabilities that will allow iPhone's camera to recognize objects and scenes in real time. Dubbed SmartCam, the feature is seemingly able to adjust image settings according to detected subjects. Code points include references to babies, fireworks, pets, the sky, snow, sports, a sunset and more.

Apple is expected to release a next-generation iPhone this fall with front-facing 3D-sensing FaceTime camera, full-face display, wireless charging and more.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Given that the design of the iPhone 8 has been leaked in this same data and will dispense with the home button, I fail to see how it's "highly unlikely" that Apple is also ditching Touch ID on the iPhone 8. It's actually a lot more likely that they are ditching Touch ID than alternatives like inventing a way to put a Touch ID sensor behind the screen or moving it to the back of the phone. Also, you need only look at the design of the lock screen on iOS 10 and 11 to see that it's based around the user being quickly authenticated to look at all kinds of private data immediately. Scanning facial topography would seem to be the fastest and possibly even most secure way to handle this.
    StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Given that the design of the iPhone 8 has been leaked in this same data and will dispense with the home button, I fail to see how it's "highly unlikely" that Apple is also ditching Touch ID on the iPhone 8. It's actually a lot more likely that they are ditching Touch ID than alternatives like inventing a way to put a Touch ID sensor behind the screen or moving it to the back of the phone. Also, you need only look at the design of the lock screen on iOS 10 and 11 to see that it's based around the user being quickly authenticated to look at all kinds of private data immediately. Scanning facial topography would seem to be the fastest and possibly even most secure way to handle this.
    Just because they also add Face ID doesn’t mean they’re ditching Touch ID.
    radarthekatrepressthisSpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Regarding Touch ID - I think all of the contracts and agreements apple has with all of the banks around the 
    world prevents them from just ditching Touch ID for facial recognition.   
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobrabshank
  • Reply 4 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,630member
    Regarding Touch ID - I think all of the contracts and agreements apple has with all of the banks around the 
    world prevents them from just ditching Touch ID for facial recognition.   
    Source? 
  • Reply 5 of 11
    scartartscartart Posts: 174member
    Source? 
    Trashman69
    trashman69
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Given that the design of the iPhone 8 has been leaked in this same data and will dispense with the home button, I fail to see how it's "highly unlikely" that Apple is also ditching Touch ID on the iPhone 8. It's actually a lot more likely that they are ditching Touch ID than alternatives like inventing a way to put a Touch ID sensor behind the screen or moving it to the back of the phone. Also, you need only look at the design of the lock screen on iOS 10 and 11 to see that it's based around the user being quickly authenticated to look at all kinds of private data immediately. Scanning facial topography would seem to be the fastest and possibly even most secure way to handle this.
    Just because they also add Face ID doesn’t mean they’re ditching Touch ID.
    You quoted everything I wrote and then completely ignored it all...
    How do you suggest that the iPhone 8, now confirmed to not have a home button, will have Touch ID? Because companies have already tried to put it behind an OLED screen and failed which would strongly suggest that one of the biggest reasons they are adding Face ID is because they couldn’t have Touch ID without a home button.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    Given that the design of the iPhone 8 has been leaked in this same data and will dispense with the home button, I fail to see how it's "highly unlikely" that Apple is also ditching Touch ID on the iPhone 8. It's actually a lot more likely that they are ditching Touch ID than alternatives like inventing a way to put a Touch ID sensor behind the screen or moving it to the back of the phone. Also, you need only look at the design of the lock screen on iOS 10 and 11 to see that it's based around the user being quickly authenticated to look at all kinds of private data immediately. Scanning facial topography would seem to be the fastest and possibly even most secure way to handle this.
    Just because they also add Face ID doesn’t mean they’re ditching Touch ID.
    You quoted everything I wrote and then completely ignored it all...
    How do you suggest that the iPhone 8, now confirmed to not have a home button, will have Touch ID? Because companies have already tried to put it behind an OLED screen and failed which would strongly suggest that one of the biggest reasons they are adding Face ID is because they couldn’t have Touch ID without a home button.
    Qualcomm showed a phone with a working fingerprint reader under the screen about a month ago. And the fact that other companies can't do it doesn't indicate that Apple can't either. 
    bshank
  • Reply 8 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,131member
    They're not getting rid of fingerprint detection. Let's just be perfectly clear about that.
    bshank
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Touch ID should not be replaced by face recognition. If someone wanted into your phone without consent, I'll be we have to do is hold it up to your face to unlock it (assuming it will unlock your phone).  No it should not completely replaced Touch ID.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,514member
    The iPhone 7s probably won't have facial recognition.
    The iPhone 8 probably won't have Touch ID.
    .
    Since people seem to think it's either / or, I guess we'll go back to the dark ages of flip phones...
  • Reply 11 of 11

    The fact that a future iPhone might have some form of face recognition doesn't automatically meant that it will dispense with TouchID.  Just because there's a render that has no home button, or no place for one, doesn't mean there won't be one in another form.

    For myself, I find TouchID incredibly useful for things like authenticating to my bank apps.  I can't imagine face recognition adding so much to that process that I would consider TouchID to be obsolete or useless.

    edited August 2017 trashman69
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