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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    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.

  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I haven't used an android phone in probably a year. Does "TouchID" actually work well on them now?
  4. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
  5. ballyhoo macrumors newbie


    Jul 12, 2008
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2018 ---
    Good, 'cause that fingerprint recognition never really worked anyways. Don't even get me started on Siri
  6. SRLMJ23 Contributor


    Jul 11, 2008
    Central New York
    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!

  7. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    TouchID never really worked ..... wow
  8. Wanted797 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2011

    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.
  9. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
    That isn't saying much, FaceId isn't very impressive. It's amazing how often it misses if you aren't looking at it straight on.

    Now, bring on the masses of "but it works fine for me 100% of the time REEEEE"
  10. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Not surprising, they'll trail behind like always and make a crappy knock off of the feature.
  11. torana355 macrumors 68040

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Thank god, im very happy with the Iris scanner and FPS on my S9 :)
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    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.
  13. hybrid_x macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2004
    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.
  14. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2017
    I have a cheap Motorola and "TouchID" works very well on it. It was released in May 2016.
  15. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Face ID isn’t impressive? I never thought there would be a time when Projecting over 30,000 invisible dots onto your face using facial 3D mapping of a depth map of your face would unlock your iPhone. That alone is impressive to me, perhaps not to others.
  16. chucker23n1 macrumors 68020


    Dec 7, 2014
    What are you talking about? o_O
  17. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    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!
  18. elvislives macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2011
  19. Fozziebear71 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2014
    My exact thoughts when I read it also.
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    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.
  21. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    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.
  22. Derekeys macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    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.
  23. Ghost31 macrumors 68030


    Jun 9, 2015
    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.
  24. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Wouldn't Apple improving Face ID to work at more extreme angles be the solution here?
  25. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    "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.

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