MWC

Facial recognition tech will feature on 1bn smartphones by 2020

Tyrone Stewart

iPhone XMore than 1bn smartphones will be shipped with facial recognition technology in 2020, after the same figure of smartphones are shipped this year with fingerprint sensors.

According to research from Counterpoint, we can expect to see mobile devices to combine biometric sensors for the face, iris, voice, and fingerprints, as opposed to competing with each other. These biometric technologies will be layered on top of one another with the most convenient being opted for on an application-by-application basis.

“The diffusion of facial recognition technology into lower tier price bands will be faster than any other flagship feature due to 2D facial recognition being native on the Android platform,” said Pavel Naiya, senior analyst at Counterpoint. “However, according to our estimates, close to 60 per cent of all smartphones with facial recognition, will use 3D technology in 2020. Data collected from multiple 3D sensors will assist emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to widen their use cases.”

Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint, added: “In 2018 we expect all leading handset manufacturers to launch flagship handsets with facial recognition capability. Some will also be inspired by Apple’s ‘notch’ design, though this won’t be necessary in every case to deliver the face recognition technology – it will be more of a fashion statement.

“In addition to flagship products, we expect 2D face recognition will find its way into mid-range products from leading Chinese handset brands.”