Xiaomi Mi7 first to include Qualcomm's 3D facial recognition tech
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Apple was first to integrate a decently reliable face recognition technology in a smartphone with the launch of the iPhone X last year. This kind of feature really needs a powerful SoC that knows a thing or two about AI and machine learning, so an implementation in entry-level or mid-range smartphones is highly unlikely in the next few years. However high-end SoCs like the Snapdragon 845, Kirin 970 or Exynos 9810 integrate their own AI capabilities, just like Aplle’s A11 Bionic Soc. Besides Apple’s FaceID tech, the only alternative that has a chance to be seen in smartphones this year is Qualcomm’s 3D facial recognition technology, and, according to DigiTimes, only Xiaomi’s upcoming Mi7 will be using it, since Samsung and Huawei are working on their own versions.
Qualcomm’s 3D facial recognition tech is developed in collaboration with Himax and Truly Opto-electronics. The only SoC that can run it is obviously the high-end Snapdragon 845, which is rumored to be powering Xiaomi’s Mi7 handset. This model was originally scheduled for a H1 2018 release, but it seems that Xiaomi did not anticipate a few complications with the 3D face recognition, so the Mi7 was postponed for an H2 release. Even so, Xiaomi Mi7 should remain the first Android smartphone to be launched with such technologies this year.
DigiTimes estimates that the Mi7 could make an appearance in Q3, so a midsummer release is a strong possibility. Even though Samsung is developing its own facial recognition technology for the Exynos SoCs, it might reconsider the market situation and opt to implement Qualcomm’s version in its upcoming models (the Galaxy Note 9?) that are powered by the Snapdragon 845.