Apple speaker firmware references infrared face detection in iPhone 8
Apple’s recently-released firmware for its HomePod smart speaker contains several iPhone 8 design references, including the existence of infrared face detection in the BiometricKit framework, according to a report, by Mac Rumors.
HomePod, which is expected to be released in December, will run a version of iOS. The early firmware, released late last week by Apple, corresponds to iOS 11.0.2.
The firmware’s references to an infrared face detection device within the BiometricKit framework, which is where the Touch ID authentication mechanism is located on current iPhones, supports previous reports that the iPhone 8 will feature facial recognition capabilities.
The device’s BiometricKit framework appears to contain new “FaceDetect” methods addressing a range of circumstances including faces being too close or too far from the camera, the presence of many faces, and more.
There are also other references to the infrared capture device in BiometricKit. This gives greater weight to past claims that the front of the iPhone will have infrared sensors to capture images for authentication, instead of simply using visible light through a traditional camera.
There are multiple references in the firmware that use the code name “Pearl” to describe this particular functionality.
The firmware also contains a glyph for “D22”, the codename for the iPhone 8 itself, which represents a device that greatly resembles the rumored iPhone 8.
The diagram contains a full-front display with a notch cut out at the top for the earpiece, as well as infrared sensors.
Apple is expected to announce details about iPhone 8 in September, however, the device’s release may be postponed due to production issues, according to reports.
The company has reportedly been trying to integrate Touch ID fingerprint sensing beneath the iPhone 8’s display.
However, a few sources have reported that Apple has been experiencing issues in achieving this task and may omit the feature altogether.
Earlier this month, a KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst reported that Apple is struggling with fingerprint recognition capabilities for the upcoming iPhone 8, and only has until the end of July to resolve the issue before it affects its earnings estimates.