Respected industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that next year’s iPhones will get an upgraded Face ID system and that future iPad models might also incorporate Time of Flight (or ToF) sensor technology.
The predictions come by way of a note to investors in which Kuo explains that the upgraded Face ID system will feature an enhanced “flood illuminator” component, which will reduce the effects of invisible light during operation. Kuo says that all of next year’s iPhone models will feature the upgraded authentication system; and, as MacRumors notes, he has previously predicted that there will again be three new iPhones, with two featuring OLED displays and the third featuring an LCD screen.
It would not be a surprising development for authentication on the iPhone. Indeed, if there was a big surprise, it came this year, when Apple definitely switched from its previous Touch ID fingerprint recognition system to Face ID on all of its new iPhones – a move that Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted. Now, it makes sense for Apple to focus on refining its Face ID system for the next generation of iPhones, rather than trying to come up with an entirely new authentication system again.
The ToF prediction for the iPad is more surprising, given that this year’s new iPad already attained 3D imaging capabilities with the introduction of Face ID. But as Kuo explains in his note, “We believe that 3D modeling captured by ToF and then edited by an Apple Pencil on an iPad will create an all-new productivity experience for design applications in a totally different manner from computers.” ToF is echolocation-like technology, potentially allowing for more detailed 3D mapping, and Kuo believes that there is “a greater than 50% probability” that it will come to an iPad that will be launched in Q4 of next year or Q1 of 2020. Kuo also thinks it will eventually make it to the iPhone, though perhaps not until the second half of 2020.