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Apple Grabs Facial Recognition Startup

Paul Rubens - February 20, 2017 - 11:27 AM
Apple Grabs Facial Recognition Startup
Apple's RealFace acquisition fuels rumors that the iPhone 8 will ditch TouchID in favor of facial recognition.

(CCM) — Apple has snapped up Israeli facial recognition artificial intelligence startup RealFace for an undisclosed sum likely to be of the order of several million dollars, according to a report in TechTimes. RealTime's facial recognition technology enables secure device authentication, and the acquisition is bound to fuel the rumors that Apple is planning to ditch its hardware-based TouchID fingerprint recognition system and introduce authentication through facial recognition when it launches the iPhone 8 later this year.

Removing the hardware-based fingerprint scanner on future iPhone models would enable Apple to increase the size of the display area on the front of its devices, but replacing it with facial recognition technology is not the only alternative. A recent Apple patent suggests that the company may be considering using a software-based on-screen fingerprint scanner, according to TechTimes. Apple may also be planning to use the iPhone 8's front-facing camera to carry out iris scanning — a technology which was pioneered by Samsung in the Galaxy Note7 last year. Israel is a hotbed of technology startups, and Apple has bought three other ones since 2011. These are: Anobit, a NAND flash company; PrimseSense, the creator of the Kinect sensor; and LinX, a camera technology company.

Image: © Peter Kotoff - Shutterstock.com
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