As of this moment, the iPhone X is the only smartphone featuring 3D facial recognition, but recent rumors and speculation give reason to believe Samsung isn’t far behind on introducing the same capabilities to the Galaxy S10.
A recent report says Samsung is in the worlds with Israeli startup Mantis Vision to develop the 3D sensing camera solutions for Samsung Electronics’ next-generation Galaxy S smartphone – tentatively named Galaxy S10. Korean news outlet The Bell reported Mantis Vision is collaborating with the camera module firm Namuga to integrate the 3D sensing software.
Samsung launched a 2D solution on the Galaxy S8 for unlocking the device with the user’s face, but the company did not have sufficient faith in the security of the technology to allow it to be used for secure applications like payment. The recently launched Galaxy S9, meanwhile, makes up for this deficiency by combining improved 2D facial recognition with iris biometrics in its new Intelligent Scan feature.
Apple, on the other hand, waited to provide a facial recognition feature in 3D. The iPhone X’s Face ID, which uses a structured-light technique projecting a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto the user’s face to measure the distortion and generate an accurate 3D image for authentication, provides greater levels of security than Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint recognition technology.
Face ID gave Apple a significant advantage in the market, and it’s not a surprise a competitor like Samsung would be quick to catch up. Counterpoint Technology Market Research recently projected more than a billion smartphones will have facial technology by the year 2020, citing the iPhone X and Apple as a global trend setter for device applications.
It remains to be seen when when or if Samsung will upgrade from 2D to 3D facial recognition, however, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently remarked it would take Android smartphone providers up to two and half years to catch up with Face ID when it was released in 2017. The Galaxy S10 will likely be released spring 2019, which would put it a year and half after the iPhone X release, and about six months after whatever smartphones Apple plans to unveil this fall, all of which are expected to include Face ID.