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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Late last week, Apple released early firmware for its HomePod smart speaker, which won't be launching to the public until December. HomePod will run a version of iOS, and the firmware released by Apple corresponds to iOS 11.0.2.

One iOS developer has dug into the firmware and discovered that it also contains hints of what we can expect for other devices. Most importantly, the firmware includes numerous references to infrared face detection within the BiometricKit framework that is currently home to Touch ID authentication, supporting claims that the iPhone 8 will rely at least in part on facial recognition. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has also confirmed these discoveries.

Within BiometricKit are new "FaceDetect" methods addressing such circumstances as faces being too close or too far from the camera, the presence of multiple faces, and more.


Other references point to infrared capture in BiometricKit, pointing toward the rumored infrared sensors on the front of the iPhone being involved in capturing images for authentication, rather than using visible light through a traditional camera.


Various references point toward the code name for this functionality being "Pearl," while the code name for the iPhone 8 is "D22." The iOS 11.0.2 HomePod firmware also includes a glyph for this D22 device representing an iPhone that looks much like the rumored iPhone 8, featuring a full-front display with a notch cut out at the top for the earpiece and sensors.


The iPhone 8 is expected to debut around the usual September timeframe, but availability may be delayed somewhat due to production difficulties. Apple has reportedly been trying to incorporate Touch ID fingerprint sensing beneath the device's display, but some rumors have suggested Apple has had difficulty achieving that goal and may instead switch to facial recognition for authentication purposes.

Article Link: iPhone 8 Infrared Face Detection and General Device Design Revealed in HomePod Firmware

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68040
May 31, 2015
I can't believe it's taken this long for solid confirmation of the design. We knew all about the 6 in like the month of May, and we're almost in August at this point.
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Reactions: Jespertje93


macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
Personally, if there is only face detection and no Touch ID on the new phone I plan to hold on to my 7 Plus another year. No interest in swiping my face for Apple Pay.
I'm in the same boat. I'll wait to see if TouchID makes its way back on the next years phone. And see just how well FaceID (or whatever it'll be called) works in real world situations. I'm really skeptical of how silly people will look trying to authenticate facial recognition with a NFC terminal.


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
I'm looking forward to this radical redesign!

I think they'll find some way to make the top notch work with the software. Either two rows of info, or maybe they could just put the clock and battery on either side (maybe signal bars too, which is why they were redesigned narrower for iOS 11?) and have some sort of status bar area near the bottom in the rumored virtual home button area? Guess it depends on whether they go for a dock like area at the bottom. But I could see that getting cluttered.

Actually either way might look cluttered. But then again the whole thing is getting cluttered over time. I've long hoped for the ability to hide system icons. My Bluetooth is always on because Apple Watch, AirPods and car audio. Also I always have an alarm set each day, and I don't need to know that I'm still on T-Mobile all the time!
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