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More iPhone 8 Features Revealed: SmartCam, Face ID for Apple Pay

Thanks to Apple’s early release of the first firmware code for its upcoming HomePod Siri-speaker, developers have had a chance to learn more about the premium device this week and, ironically enough, have discovered a ton of details about the upcoming iPhone 8. Earlier this week, developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed a number of new features and enhancements that could be coming to the iPhone 8 this fall, which he discovered buried within the HomePod’s firmware. And the details have only continued trickling in as the week has progressed. Just yesterday, yet another iOS software developer, Guilherme Rambo, published a Tweet revealing another round of interesting iPhone 8 tidbits from the HomePod’s code.

‘SmartCam’ Technology

The iPhone 8’s advanced camera system could introduce an all-new ‘SmartCam’ feature capable of facilitating “intelligent scene selection.” According to Guilherme’s Tweet, the ‘SmartCam’ feature may allow for the device’s advanced camera to work in dichotomy with iOS 11’s revamped camera app to help “intelligently capture the best photos” possible when shooting specific scenes like landscape, pets, faces, and other defined objects. The HomePod’s code identifying ‘SmartCam’ technology lists a number of potential scenes, including Baby, Bright Stage, Document, Fireworks, Foliage, and others.

Similar to the iPhone’s current object and facial detection features built-into Photos for Search, ‘SmartCam’ functionality would work by ‘looking’ for objects that appear in the same scene, and automatically selecting the best possible camera exposure settings for each photo.

Apple Pay via Face ID

The HomePod’s code, according to Guilherme, also revealed some information about the potential fate of Touch ID on the iPhone 8. Specifically, his discovery relates to the prospect of facial recognition serving as an authentication method for Apple Pay transactions, which may or may not take the place of Touch ID functionality. For example, the specific code Guilherme discovered cites a ‘passbook.payment.contactlessinterface’ with ‘pearl.field-detect’ and ‘pearl.pre-arm’, which likely has to do with the ‘Pearl ID’ feature (Apple’s internal codename for Face ID) that was recently discovered for the iPhone 8 by Steve Troughton-Smith.

According to his most recent iPhone 8 predictions, Ming-Chi Kuo also suggested that Apple’s advanced 3D facial recognition cameras could take the place of Touch ID on the flagship — namely in light of its edge-to-edge design that leaves little, if any room for a traditional fingerprint sensor. Worth noting, of course, is that we still don’t know for sure if the iPhone 8 will ship without Touch ID functionality, or whether Apple has figured out a way to embed it underneath the display.

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