iPhone 8 Has New Secret Weapon Against Samsung

In your face, Galaxy S8. Although Samsung's upcoming phone will supposedly log you in by recognizing your mug, Apple's new acquisition should give the iPhone 8 much more advanced facial recognition.

Apple has reportedly acquired Israeli startup RealFace, which boasts the "world's best facial recognition," according to its website, which has since been taken down. The Times of Israel broke the news of the deal, which has implications well beyond biometric security.

The iPhone 8 will likely offer advanced facial recognition. Credit: Handy Abovergleich

(Image credit: The iPhone 8 will likely offer advanced facial recognition. Credit: Handy Abovergleich)

Recent iPhone 8 rumors have pointed to Apple including a 3D laser scanner on the front of the iPhone 8 to unlock the device, as opposed to the sometimes-finicky Touch ID technology. Given the reports around a dedicated function area for Touch ID on the screen an other functions in Apple's 10th anniversary phone, you'll likely have two ways of authenticating yourself.

According to Apple Insider, RealFace software provides "frictionless face recognition" directly on a relatively low-powered device like an iPhone. According to the company, it aims to "offer customers a smart biometric log-in solution" for mobile deployment.

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RealFace's technology could be used for other applications, too. The company had previously developed an app to mathematically determine your best photos using its facial recognition software. And, as Apple Insider notes, an API could enable anything from augmented reality to clothing sizing and more accurate measurements for home improvements.

This tech sounds like it has a lot in common with Google's Tango, which uses a combination of cameras and depth sensors to enable many of the same scenarios in phones like the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Asus has also announced its own Google Tango phone, the Zenfone AR.

RealFace's technology can also analyze facial expressions to determine a user's mood, according to BGR. Apple acquired a company last year, Emotient, which offered similar artificial intelligence tech.

Between rumored features such as an OLED display, wireless charging, Touch ID in the screen, facial recognition and other advancements, it's no wonder that some analysts believe that the iPhone 8 could cost $1,000 or more.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.