Vivo is now working with a facial recognition specialist on 3D face and head modelling technology.
The partnership was detailed at last week’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai event, where both companies showed off technology allowing attendees to have their heads scanned and then built into a physical 3D model they could hold in their hands. The face-scanning specialist in question, Megvii, has previously worked with Alipay on facial recognition technology, and owns the Face++ open platform for facial recognition.
At MWCS 2018, Megvii and Vivo showcased a number of camera-based 3D facial recognition applications beyond head modelling, including payment authentication, 3D portrait lighting, and even a “beautification” solution allowing end users to adjust certain facial features in their 3D models. In a statement, Megvii explained that the latter application could be used to “preview the effect of planned plastic surgery.”
Authentication will probably be the primary use case as far as Vivo is concerned, however. The company established itself as a biometric authentication pioneer this year with its launch of smartphones featuring in-display fingerprint sensors, but it will likely want to compete with Apple on the facial recognition front as the American tech company brings its 3D Face ID system to more devices beyond last autumn’s iPhone X, especially if other rivals like Samsung go in that direction, too.
For now, though, Megvii and Vivo haven’t made any official announcements about new devices that will feature their face scanning technology; they’re just showing off what they’re capable of.