The firmware of the unpublished Apple HomePod gives, as well as some features of the Siri-Box also possible features of the iPhone 8 price. According to this, Apple is setting up a face scanner to unlock the upcoming iPhone flagship. Also the design of the iPhone 8 interprets itself in the code lines.
Concrete Notes on Face Detection in the iPhone 8
Developers Steve Troughton-Smith has looked at the code of the HomePod firmware that Apple released on Friday, and shared the key findings via Twitter. Surprisingly, he not only came across functions related to the Siri speaker. In addition, the developer could find some details about the upcoming iPhone flagship, since the box also contains a large part of the iPhone code base.
There are various code lines with the term BKFaceDetect. “BK” should stand for BiometricKit and point to the biometric face recognition of the iPhone 8. Apple uses “Kit” as a term for developer tools such as HomeKit, HealthKit and ARKit (from iOS 11), through which third-party vendors can integrate appropriate functions into their own apps.
Since Apple has integrated the iPhone fingerprint sensor Touch ID third-party applications for years, similar is also conceivable with a facial scanner. Instead of fingerprinting, not only the iPhone, but also, for example, password managers or banking apps could be unlocked via face.
The rumors about a biometric face scanner in the iPhone 8 have been circulating for some time. It remains unclear whether Apple plans the face recognition in the iPhone 8 as a complement or replacement for Touch ID.
IPhone 8 design as a symbol
In addition to BKFaceDetect, the HomePod code also provides a symbol image to show the design of the iPhone 8. IOS developer Guilherme Rambo has published the picture on Twitter. The almost frameless display of the front side corresponds to the design of the already featured housing parts of this year’s iPhone flagship. The recess on the top should house the camera, the telephony loudspeaker and the infrared sensors of the face scanner.
HomePod with LED matrix display, without app support
Apple’s Siri loudspeaker runs with an adapted iOS version, as the code emerges. The name of the firmware is AudioAccessory1,1. In principle the device works like an iPhone without display. In addition, the intelligent loudspeaker in iTunes currently still looks as an iPhone SE.
The LED display on the top of the loudspeaker should provide more display options than previously assumed. The firmware contains information about an LED matrix that could display condition-dependent shapes and symbols. Weather symbols such as clouds and the current temperature could be accommodated on the 32 × 32 pixel matrix.
HomePod is unlikely to allow third-party apps to be installed. The firmware does not contain corresponding notes. If you want to play a Spotify Playlist on the HomePod, you have to do this via AirPlay via an iPhone or Mac.
The HomePod is only available in the USA in December. As of when Apple supplies additional markets, is not known.