The headline feature of the next iPhone will be its ability to unlock without even touching it, according to numerous reports.
iPhone 8 is expected to include wireless charging capabilities.
Apple is widely rumoured to sell a wireless charging pad – like those that ship with the Apple Watch – capable of charging the smartphone whenever it is resting on the circular pad. The decision to introduce wireless charging capabilities is also believed to be behind the move to swap anodised aluminium for glass in the new designs.
Ahead of the iPhone 8 release date, more evidence of the new feature has appeared online. New images that purportedly show some of the internal components that will power the charging pad have been shared on Chinese social media site Weibo. While the charging pads in the leaked images are clearly unfinished, it could still offer an insight into the potential shape and size of the charging accessory.
iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus – tipped to debut alongside the so-called iPhone 8 – will also support wireless charging.
But the new iPhones will not completely abandon wires. There are a number or well-sourced tips that Apple will introduce fast charging to its new smartphones, using USB-C Power Delivery chips for Lightning-USB-C functionality.
iPhone 8 is also tipped to debut a dramatic new industrial design that ditches the physical Home Button to enable the new edge-to-edge OLED display to bleed to the very edge of the chassis.
Leaked schematics allegedly reveal the wireless charging component inside the iPhone 8
The phone will be able to use facial recognition technology to see its owner in just a few hundred milliseconds, according to new leaks from both The Korea Herald and Bloomberg. That feature will be the iPhone’s “crown jewel” that will serve as its most innovative feature, the latter reported.
Rumours about Apple’s facial recognition have swirled for months and seemed to be confirmed by leaked iPhone code that made its way onto the internet. But it wasn’t clear how it would actually work, and bad experiences with similar technology led some to worry that the feature could be a failure.
The new reports claim that the feature will be incredibly fast, as well as being more secure and accurate. It will also include a range of features never before seen, like infrared cameras that will allow it to see in the dark and processors that will let it see people’s faces even if the phone is flat on a table, for instance.
Together, the improvements to those facial recognition features mean they will probably be among the top ways of selling the phones at their launch next month. Apple is also likely to focus on its brand new design and other updates like improved screen technology.
As well as allowing the phone to unlock from afar and without any effort, the feature is also required because of the design of the phone. The fact that it has now bezel or chin at the bottom of the handset means that there’s no place for the TouchID fingerprint sensor that currently unlocks it, meaning that another solution is required.
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Other companies including Samsung have brought face and eye recognition to their phones in the past. But they have been blighted by an inability to recognise very quickly, or with enough certainty to make the feature a dependable security mechanism.
It’s hard to say how Apple will sell the next iPhone, especially since its launch will be so different to any that came before it. Such rumours also suffer from the same problem as people trying to work out how Apple will name the product – the company probably hasn’t decided yet, and even if it has could change its mind before the phone is actually released.