Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sensing Race

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Apple has gained a two-year lead over its rivals in the smartphone industry in the area of 3D sensing technology, according to a new report on Tuesday.

Following talks with three major parts suppliers, Reuters estimates that Android phone makers will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple's Face ID security, which debuted last year in the iPhone X.

According to parts manufacturers Viavi Solutions Inc, Finisar Corp and Ams AG, bottlenecks on key parts will mean mass adoption of 3D sensing will not happen until next year, disappointing earlier expectations.

That means that China's Huawei, Xiaomi and others could be a total of almost two years behind Apple, which launched Face ID with its iPhone X anniversary phone last September.
Android producers are reportedly struggling to source vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a key component of Apple's TrueDepth camera that the company moved to secure supplies of last year. In December, Apple said it planned to invest $390 million in Finisar Corp, which supplies the components for VCSELs.

Apple said the investment would enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of VCSELs, which power some of the iPhone's X flagship features, such as Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

According to Reuters' sources, Apple was initially sourcing VCSELs chiefly from California-based Lumentum, and it was bottlenecks in production there last year that also spurred the $390 million deal with Finisar.

Meanwhile, Lumentum, which declined to comment on the report, is ramping up additional manufacturing capacity for VCSELs and edge-emitting lasers for the first half of fiscal 2019, according to the company's earnings call.

Another producer, Austria-based Ams, also expects to have VCSEL chips widely available next year and says it has won a large deal with one phone maker.

Viavi, the only major supplier of optical filters needed for the 3D sensing modules, believes only one Android handset maker will deliver 3D sensing by the end of the calendar year, but volumes are likely to be very low. The company expects at least two more Android-based phones to follow that trend in 2019.

According to a report in October by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies tripled after Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology, which will likely replace traditional Touch ID fingerprint recognition in future iOS devices.

Apple is reportedly working on a new high-end 2018 iPad that will adopt many of the design elements from the revamped iPhone X, including built-in support for Face ID. The new tablet device, which is likely to be a "Pro" model, will reportedly do away with the Home button.

Article Link: Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sensing Race
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,231
3,365
Exactly the same happened with TouchID. Rival smartphone makers rushed cheap nasty copies out the door that didn't work as well..

Took them two years to finally match TouchID, by which time v2 was out and R&D was started on FaceID.

I haven't used an android phone in probably a year. Does "TouchID" actually work well on them now?
 

ballyhoo

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2008
12
3



Apple has gained a two-year lead over its rivals in the smartphone industry in the area of 3D sensing technology, according to a new report on Tuesday.

Following talks with three major parts suppliers, Reuters estimates that Android phone makers will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple's Face ID security, which debuted last year in the iPhone X.

Android producers are reportedly struggling to source vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a key component of Apple's TrueDepth camera that the company moved to secure supplies of last year. In December, Apple said it planned to invest $390 million in Finisar Corp, which supplies the components for VCSELs.

Apple said the investment would enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of VCSELs, which power some of the iPhone's X flagship features, such as Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

According to Reuters' sources, Apple was initially sourcing VCSELs chiefly from California-based Lumentum, and it was bottlenecks in production there last year that also spurred the $390 million deal with Finisar.

Meanwhile, Lumentum, which declined to comment on the report, is ramping up additional manufacturing capacity for VCSELs and edge-emitting lasers for the first half of fiscal 2019, according to the company's earnings call.

Another producer, Austria-based Ams, also expects to have VCSEL chips widely available next year and says it has won a large deal with one phone maker.

Viavi, the only major supplier of optical filters needed for the 3D sensing modules, believes only one Android handset maker will deliver 3D sensing by the end of the calendar year, but volumes are likely to be very low. The company expects at least two more Android-based phones to follow that trend in 2019.

According to a report in October by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies tripled after Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology, which will likely replace traditional Touch ID fingerprint recognition in future iOS devices.

Apple is reportedly working on a new high-end 2018 iPad that will adopt many of the design elements from the revamped iPhone X, including built-in support for Face ID. The new tablet device, which is likely to be a "Pro" model, will reportedly do away with the Home button.

Article Link: Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sensing Race
[doublepost=1521544076][/doublepost]Good, 'cause that fingerprint recognition never really worked anyways. Don't even get me started on Siri
 
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SRLMJ23

Contributor
Jul 11, 2008
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Central New York
Exactly the same happened with TouchID. Rival smartphone makers rushed cheap nasty copies out the door that didn't work as well..

Took them two years to finally match TouchID, by which time v2 was out and R&D was started on FaceID.

I know Apple has a patent on their TrueDepth Camera System, however, I am wondering if other smartphone makers like Samsung will be able to use a dot projector and infrared since Apple does not own that technology? So would they be able to do that, or will the patent on the TrueDepth Camera prevent them from using those two technologies, just curious? If anyone has any idea, I would love to know. Thanks in advance!

:apple:
 
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Wanted797

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2011
614
768
Australia
Exactly the same happened with TouchID. Rival smartphone makers rushed cheap nasty copies out the door that didn't work as well..

Took them two years to finally match TouchID, by which time v2 was out and R&D was started on FaceID.


Hahaha the photo didn’t load on my phone straight away and this was what I thought of. The S6 was hilarious when it had the same as Apple.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,472
24,228
I love Face ID. I just found out the other day that I can try to unlock with my eyes closed and then it'll only unlock when I open my eyes. I think this is the "require attention" setting or something but still, it worked every single time without issue and it's like magic.

Some seriously crazy tech in Face ID that makes things easier rather than harder. Swipe up and you're in. Anybody tries the same and it won't work.
 

hybrid_x

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2004
154
198
Teh Interwebz
I’m really interested to see where this technology goes. It would not surprise me to see Apple incorporate it into the rear cameras as well, making every iPhone and iPad a 3D scanner and mapping device.

FaceID and animoji are just gimmicky implementations to spur adoption at a low level, while suppliers ramp up. The AR tech that’s a few years away is going to be astounding.
 
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BruceEBonus

macrumors 65816
Sep 23, 2007
1,327
1,303
Derbyshire, England
What great news. If you’re a regular swimming pool user like the model in the promo shot and regularly using face scanning like wot we all do ... I’ve lost count of the amount of times I pull out my phone after a swim from my trunks and ..... feel warm in the knowledge that the Android Gang are two years “behind”. Hello? Also. Apple is now two years beh....ahead when it comes to removing headphone jacks as well. Beat THAT Samsung! Oh no. What am I saying? I’ve just gone and bought another iPhone X cos of that advert and I already had one. And I don’t even swim. But after reading that headline I’m going to learn how to!
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
6,938
12,457
In between a rock and a hard place
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I pull out my phone after a swim from my trunks and... feel warm in the knowledge that...
Two things:
1.Feel warm. Uh Bruce, stop peeing in the pool. Not cool.:p:D

2.After a swim from my trunks. So you're peeing in the pool & skinny dipping? Alrighty then.:)

That sentence would have been a lot less funny if you had written it like this:
I've lost count of the amount of times I pull my phone from my trunks after a swim...


On topic: Does anyone (generally speaking) really care? Face ID apparently works fine. Touch ID works fine. One being more secure or faster than the other is simply forum fodder. It's not like either takes a long time to activate or has a rash of security breaches.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,753
9,668
Philadelphia, PA
Two things:
1.Feel warm. Uh Bruce, stop peeing in the pool. Not cool.:p:D

2.After a swim from my trunks. So you're peeing in the pool & skinny dipping? Alrighty then.:)

That sentence would have been a lot less funny if you had written it like this:
I've lost count of the amount of times I pull my phone from my trunks after a swim...


On topic: Does anyone (generally speaking) really care? Face ID apparently works fine. Touch ID works fine. One being more secure or faster than the other is simply forum fodder. It's not like either takes a long time to activate or has a rash of security breaches.
I think both are good solutions, but I can see where Face ID has a slight advantage when it comes to the long term. No physical input, will get better with more extreme angles, landscape mode, faster unlock (direct to home screen), attention aware features, etc. People want Touch ID on the screen, but by the time you locate where to place your finger, Face ID would already be unlocked. It just comes down to personal preference, but yes I agree, they are both great solutions so it's a win win.
 

Derekeys

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2012
175
410
Philadelphia, PA
I would love to see Touch ID behind the glass in addition to Face ID. Number one complaint I have about Face ID is when the X is on a flat surface on my desk and I just want to unlock it and click into a few apps without lifting it from the desk. You have to do this little dance where you hover over the phone looking directly at it. Those are times I miss Touch ID. I could get a stand I know, but l want it to work as easy as Touch ID without an accessory. The screen is a huge step up (except for the notch), but I think Face ID (as the sole replacement) is a step back from Touch ID. Oh and I wish there was an option to unlock the X without having to swipe up. Wake > Look > Homescreen. Just as an option.
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
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3,400
And people kept saying over and over again when the iPhone X first came out, that they just added face ID spur of the moment kind of thing just because they wanted to get rid of touch ID. Most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Like they just had the most advanced facial recognition in a consumer device on the planet just sitting there and they thought why not add it for fun or something just to mess with consumers.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,753
9,668
Philadelphia, PA
I would love to see Touch ID behind the glass in addition to Face ID. Number one complaint I have about Face ID is when the X is on a flat surface on my desk and I just want to unlock it and click into a few apps without lifting it from the desk. You have to do this little dance where you hover over the phone looking directly at it. Those are times I miss Touch ID. I could get a stand I know, but l want it to work as easy as Touch ID without an accessory. The screen is a huge step up (except for the notch), but I think Face ID (as the sole replacement) is a step back from Touch ID. Oh and I wish there was an option to unlock the X without having to swipe up. Wake > Look > Homescreen. Just as an option.
Wouldn't Apple improving Face ID to work at more extreme angles be the solution here?
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,812
176
"Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sensing Race"

So what? The MP3 player market had 5+ years before Apple became king of the MP3 players. The cell phone market had a 15+ year lead before Apple came along. The car industry had decades of lead time before Honda and others joined the market.

There are hundreds of examples of companies coming along and making better products.

Apple may have a 2 year lead on 3D but there's nothing stopping a company from purchasing essentially the same hardware and making it work within 9-12 months (if not sooner if they already started months ago). Personally I don't think 3D on any phone is a feature that would be mainstream because everything they're advertising is using 3D for unlocking the phone. Big deal. 1)we've already got passwords and fingerprint readers so now another protection? 2)I think people (including me) will not want Apple/whoever collecting my data (no matter how much they promise they don't or it's uncrackable) of my picture and tying it with my fingerprint and knowing where I am every second of my life.