Another dive into Apple’s HomePod code has turned up a new pearl: Apple appears to be bringing facial recognition to Apple Pay.
The new findings come immediately after the revelation that lines of code for the firmware of HomePod, Apple’s forthcoming smart home hub device, appear to refer to an infrared facial recognition capability in a paired device, which many take to be a reference to Apple’s next major iPhone. Alongside references to Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning system, the code seems to refer to the facial recognition functionality as ‘Pearl ID’.
Now, developer Daniel Niyazov has uncovered references to Pearl in a section of code revolving around Apple Pay digital payments and Apple’s Passbook mobile wallet. It isn’t obvious what the specific lines of code are meant to do, but their location suggests that Apple Pay users will soon be able to authorize payments via face scan.
Meanwhile, Geuilherme Rambo, who discovered the initial Pearl ID references, says he has found another chunk of code indicating that a new “SmartCam” feature for iOS 11 “will tune camera settings based on the scene it detects”, a function that could work together with Pearl ID.