Manufacturing Bottlenecks Give Apple A Two Year Lead On Facial Recognition Technology

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By Nirnjan Regmi

According to senior director of investor relations at Viavi Solutions Inc states that mass adoption of the 3D sensing technology might not happen until next year. Those Android smartphone makers need to source vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, to get a true 3D face scanner to work.

Apple's iPhone X is really a special smartphone for the company and a tough rival for Android family as well. The company expects at least two more Android-based phones to follow that trend in 2019.

Ong declined to name the company that might launch an Android phone with 3D face recognition this year but said that Viavi was in talks with all the major smart phone makers to supply the filters. In December, Apple said it planned to invest $390 million in Finisar Corp, which supplies the components for VCSELs.

The technology enables the iPhone X owners to use the Face ID facial recognition system to unlock their phones, and it can also be used for gesture sensing, secure biometrics, and immersive gaming and augmented reality applications.

Apple's closest competitor, Samsung, manages to improvise with the shortcomings.

San Francisco Votes To BAN The Sale Of Fur
The legislation voted on Tuesday goes into effect January 1, but retailers have until January 2020 to sell off existing inventory. The chamber estimates San Francisco fur sales account for at least $40 million a year. "I do not have the energy and the money".

This is in part due to Apple's R&D lead, they say, but also due to its tight control of the supply-chain. This could then mean that by the time Android handset makers will be launching their duplicate of Apple's 3D-sensing technology, the Cupertino giant would have already moved on to a more advanced implementation of the technology.

According to Reuters' sources, Apple was initially sourcing VCSELs chiefly from California-based Lumentum, and it was bottlenecks in production there a year ago that also spurred the $390 million deal with Finisar.

Reuters obtained data from parts suppliers, and the publication feels that Huawei and Xiaomi will be among the Android brands that will be capable of matching Apple's 3D-sensing next year.

Craig Thompson, vice president of new markets at Finisar, says interest in the technology is universal across the sector. Production of VCSELs are expected to ramp up this year, with the emitters being widely available in 2019.

"As part of a combined external and internal VCSEL supply chain where an external volume production supply chain is available to us, we are now building internal VCSEL production capacity in Singapore", Moritz Gmeiner, head of investor relations for AMS, told Reuters.

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