On the heels of recent rumors that the upcoming iPhone will have a means of biometric authentication (other than fingerprint scanning) comes the news that Apple has acquired RealFace, an Israeli tech firm specializing in facial recognition. The report comes from Israeli site Calcalist (via MacRumors) which claims Apple bought the Tel Aviv-based company for "several million dollars." SEE ALSO: Apple's BeatsX earphones are now available online Some users may know RealFace from its app Pickeez, which automated the process of choosing the best photos from a bunch. At the time of writing, however, the app appears to be defunct, and RealFace's own website is offline as well. The acquisition may turn into an app or a feature down the line, but it's unlikely to be significant for the upcoming iPhone this late in the game.
With good reason, the most anticipated feature the iPhone 8 will bring to the table is a radical new redesign featuring an edge to edge OLED display. But with the iPhone 8 display hogging the headlines, it's easy to forget that Apple's next-gen iPhone will bring a lot of compelling features to the table, including advanced 3D sensors capable of best-in-class facial recognition. Echoing previous reports, The Korea Herald reports that LG Innotek has been tapped to supply the iPhone 8's 3D camera sensors. The report said the company's new facility investment worth 269.7 billion won (US$238.50 million) that was announced on April 27 will be dedicated to Apple's orders. The initial deal size is estimated at about 200 billion won.
Apple has acquired Tel Aviv, Israel-based Realface, a machine learning startup whose facial recognition technology can be used to authenticate users, according to reports from Calcalist (in Hebrew) and The Times Of Israel. Founded in 2014, RealFace says it has developed an innovative way of recognising people, self-reportedly building A.I software that "brings back human perception to digital process". RealFace's software enables authentication, automated on-boarding & mobile conversion optimisation. The company, led by co-founder and Columbia Business School-trained Adi Eckhouse Barzilai, says it has proprietary IP in the field of'frictionless face recognition' and effective learnings from facial features. The Israeli startup is behind the Pickeez app, which automatically choses a user's best photos from various platforms using the RealFace recognition software.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. The iPhone 8 is expected to follow suit and that means removing the iconic home button with much talk of new facial recognition technology replacing it. The information comes straight from itself after AppleInsider spotted the company has published a new application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for "Locking and unlocking a mobile device using facial recognition".
RealFace was looking for a tech partner who could integrate their library written in C and take over development from a previous company. Their real challenge, however, was to find developers who could understand the logic of the AI face recognition system and deal with GPUImage and the dlib face detector. The partnership between RealFace and STX Next started with one developer working on the iOS platform. After receiving the MVP, Realface decided to entrust STX Next with the development of the Android version. In a short time the team expanded to 5 people.