Apple's next iPhone rumored to have facial recognition powered by a new 'laser sensor'


Tim Cook iPhone


Apple's next iPhone could include some "form of facial/gesture recognition," according to a research note distributed to clients by Cowen and Company on Wednesday.

The note includes several new details about Apple's upcoming iPhone, which is expected to launch in September.

"Other features appear to include some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera and, as expected, should also finally include wireless charging," Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote.


A new kind of depth sensor has not yet been seriously rumored for the upcoming iPhone, but it makes sense. Apple bought Primesense, an infrared sensor company in 2012, and a new kind of sensor would be critical for Apple to add augmented reality features to upcoming versions of the iPhone.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about his company's interest in augmented reality technology in public several times in the past year. Apple is integrating its augmented reality technology into the iPhone's camera, and faces will be one of the first things its technology should be able to recognize, we previously reported.

Arcuri and his team cite "field work" from Apple's supply chain for its findings. Most of what they've uncovered line up with the current rumors about the upcoming iPhone.


He also expects:

  • "A feature-rich launch w/three models" - a new 5.8-inch iPhone in addition to existing 4.7- and 5.5-inch models
  • The 5.8-inch iPhone will have an OLED screen, a new kind of screen technology that uses less power and produces deeper blacks
  • The 5.8-inch model will have a "wraparound" design and will integrate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor "integrated under the glass and in the active display area."

Ultimately, Arcuri believes that the newly redesigned iPhone, which he is calling the "iPhone 10" or "iPhone X" will be "yuge" and believes it could trigger a "super cycle" of upgraders.

Here's his forecast for iPhone sales in the coming two years:


Cowen iPhone