Apple has been awarded a patent for advanced facial recognition technology boosting rumors about features in the upcoming iPhone 8 and hinting at future areas such as augmented reality (AR) and driverless cars.
A number of reports have suggested bolstered recognition technology. Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note last month that the iPhone 8 would feature a camera and infrared module that can detect faces and even lead to 3D selfies which could then be used to replace a character's face in a game, for example.
JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall published a report claiming that the iPhone 8 might forgo a fingerprint sensor and home button in favor of a 3-D scanner which could carry out biometric facial scanning. This could be used to unlock the phone as well as authenticate a user for the App Store or Apple Pay.
Apple's patent filing is for an "enhanced face detection using depth information". The Cupertino, CA-based firm has not mentioned the iPhone 8 in the document, but much of the technology outlined appears to mirror what the analysts have said.