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iPhone 8 May Ditch Touch ID for 3D Face Scanning

How do you log into a phone that's almost all screen up front when there's no room for a fingerprint sensor? If you're Samsung, you put the reader on the back for the Galaxy S8 (in an awkward location next to the camera.)

But Apple is reportedly taking a very different approach for the iPhone 8.

Credit: Cult of Mac

(Image credit: Cult of Mac)

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the iPhone 8 may ditch the Touch ID sensor altogether in favor of a face scanning feature, made possible by a 3D sensor on the front of the handset.

This would be a big departure for iPhones, which started using the Touch ID system in 2013. But there's also been a lot of complaints regarding the accuracy and inconsistency of this feature. Based on our testing and reviews, Touch ID can be very finicky and will often prevent users from logging in if they have fingers with sweat on them or even a few crumbs.

MORE: iPhone 8 Rumors: What to Expect from the 10th Anniversary iPhone

The front 3D sensor is reportedly faster than today's Touch ID, as it can unlock the iPhone within "a few hundred milliseconds." It may even work well if the device is lying flat on a table. With the Galaxy S8, you're supposed to hold the phone up a few inches away from your face.

The Bloomberg report briefly mentions that Apple is testing eye scanning as well, but Samsung already has iris scanning built into the S8, a technology it also included on the Galaxy Note 7.

The face unlock feature for the iPhone 8 also uses more data points than a fingerprint scan, which means it should be more secure than a fingerprint. It could be used not just for unlocking your phone but also mobile payments and launching "secure apps."

Just today it was reported that Apple was moving away from attempting to integrate a Touch ID sensor directly into the iPhone 8's display, based on speculation from a KGI Securities analyst.

Bloomberg also says that Apple is testing a next-generation chip for processing AI tasks, which is called the Appe Neura Engine. This chip would also presumably improve battery life.

Between face scanning, an OLED display, wireless charging, a big push into augmented reality and a fast new 10-nanomenter A11 processor, the iPhone 8 is shaping up to be a formidable flagship ahead of its expected September unveiling.