The iPhone 8’s Face-Scanning Feature Will Totally Change How You Take Photos

Although the iPhone 8 probably won't even be announced for another six months, experts and Apple insiders have been rabidly speculating for a while now that it'll be a huge leap forward for the company. So far, the rumor mill has suggested the next iPhone will charge wirelessly, sport a hidden Home button, rock a curved screen, and feature eye- and face-scanning tech. And now, thanks to fresh intel first reported by 9to5Mac, it appears it may also feature an advanced front camera system that would enable users to snap 3D photos, and render their own likenesses inside augmented and virtual reality games. 

According to the report -- from an analyst whose Apple predictions are almost always accurate -- the premium version of the next iPhone will boast a "revolutionary" front camera system packed with an infrared sensor that can measure the space around it, which would be used to merge depth info with 2D photos to render images in 3D. Besides inevitably popularizing 3D selfies, the feature will presumably lend an extra level of security to your logins and sensitive transactions, potentially replacing Touch ID with a 3D face scan as the device's primary verification method. After all, Apple recently acquired a real-time facial recognition startup whose software is capable of not only discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions.

The analyst also predicts it'll be used in existing and forthcoming augmented and virtual reality games, where a player could upload their own 3D-scanned visage to customize whatever character they're controlling. It would also likely allow you to create more realistic avatars of yourself for all manner of apps and services, and possibly even be used in tandem with the stealth AR eyewear Apple's expected to launch later this year. 

Of course, until it's unveiled, there's no telling what exactly this new camera system will be capable of. However, the report also claims that Apple is years ahead of Android when it comes 3D algorithms, meaning no matter what, there will likely be at least a few 3D-related features unique to the new iPhone for a while.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him to into the age of 3D selfies @jwmcgauley.