Apple Highlights Social Impact of Finisar Investment

“The company makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a technology crucial to the Face ID infrared facial recognition system of Apple’s new iPhone X…”

Apple is highlighting the social impact of its Finisar investment.Apple Highlights Social Impact of Finisar Investment

Announced last week, the $390 million investment will see Finisar reopen a manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, that has been shuttered since 2012. The company makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a technology crucial to the Face ID infrared facial recognition system of Apple’s new iPhone X; and Apple’s investment suggests that the company is doubling down on this technology in the wake of the iPhone X’s success.

In a new statement, Apple asserts that thanks to its investment Finisar “will soon start hiring 500 highly skilled workers”, adding that “[o]ne hundred percent of the VCSELs sold to Apple from Finisar will be made in Texas.” The company also says that it “intends to procure enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the US.” The company is evidently eager to position itself as a promoter of American jobs in an age of ‘America First’ politics, while at the same time emphasizing its environmental commitments to other consumers on the political spectrum.

It also may be planning to expand its use of facial recognition technology to many more devices beyond the iPhone X, with some speculating that all of next year’s iPhone models, as well as a new iPad, will incorporate Face ID. The user authentication system has replaced Apple’s pioneering Touch ID fingerprint scanning system on the iPhone X, and despite a high-profile spoofing claim it has seen a generally positive response from reviewers and consumers.