Apple launched the Face ID feature in the iPhone X in November 2017.
Android manufacturers have stayed away from 3D facial recognition since it needs the Snapdragon 845 SoC.
Manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei are working on the technology, due in Q3, 2018.
In November 2017, Apple launched its most advanced iPhone yet. The iPhone X brought with it a unique feature, which it called Face ID that enabled a user to unlock their phone using their facial features. The Android world tried to mimic the feature using software implementations that relied on the front facing camera to match images with the stored reference.
Companies such as OnePlus, Vivo, Oppo among others have incorporated facial recognition in their devices ever since. However, the capability of the iPhone X to be equally, if not better efficient, under low light conditions have prompted widespread attention among Android manufacturers.
3D Facial recognition for Android
According to a report by Digitimes Research, it’s unlikely that we’d be seeing an Android smartphone implementing a 3D facial recognition system before the third quarter (Q3) of 2018. According to the report, although 3D sensing modules are jointly developed by Qualcomm, Himax Technologies and Truly Opto-electronics, which is regarded as the most mature 3D sensing solution in the market, there is a limitation for the industry at large. Currently, these features can run only on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 platform.
Watch: How to set up Face ID on the iPhone X
As a result, the top-five Android phone makers have been discouraged from implementing them. The only exception being Xiaomi, which has used the module in its high-end devices. Similarly, Samsung and Huawei prefer using their own chips on their smartphones – Exynos and Kirin, respectively. Since Samsung would use its own chip, in addition to writing its own software and algorithms, resulting in a delay in rolling out smartphones with a 3D facial recognition system.
It is believed, however, that the Xiaomi Mi 7 expected to launch in the first half of 2018 will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and will be packed with a 3D sensing system. The report also added that a rather low success rate with facial recognition could delay the launch to the third quarter of 2018.