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Apple's 'iPhone 8' May Mute Notification Sounds When the User is Looking at the Screen

The HomePod firmware that Apple pushed out to public servers over a week ago continues to reveal tantalizing tidbits of information about unannounced Apple hardware, and this time the plaudits go to iOS developer Guilherme Rambo for discovering lines of code that suggest the upcoming "iPhone 8" will automatically suppress notification sounds when a user is looking at the screen.


Apple's redesigned OLED iPhone is believed to include a front-facing 3D sensor capability, likely powered by acquired PrimeSense technology, that enables Apple's new facial authentication feature.

As a possible extension of biometric authentication, the line of code beginning "TLAttentionAwarenessObserver" implies that the same infrared depth sensors may be used to mute audible notifications when the user is giving the phone their full attention and looking directly at the screen. Previously uncovered code within the HomePod firmware suggests the "iPhone 8" will also be able to scan the user's face even while the device is lying flat on a table.

Of course, there's no guarantee that the sound suppression feature will show up in Apple's upcoming OLED iPhone, due to launch next month, but if it does, it's likely to be user-configurable as an Accessibility consideration. If anything it highlights another potential use case for Apple's face detection feature, which could replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication entirely on future iPhones.

While many observers remain skeptical that Touch ID can be replaced by a facial recognition system that's equally secure, rumors have suggested Apple's facial recognition technique captures more data points than a fingerprint scan, making it even more secure than Touch ID.

(Thanks, Dean!)

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Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago
This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.
Any other company (like Samsung) would have just added the iris scanner to their phone and then only use it for unlocking the device, but when Apple adds it they also ask themselves "what else can we do with the face scanner?" and now here you go!

Can't wait until they finally show off everything the new iPhone can do!
Rating: 12 Votes
18 months ago
In September they should just let the homepod introduce the new iPhone.
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago
I love these leaks but hate them at the same time. This would’ve been an awesome announcement nobody was expecting.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago

This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.


No they didn't. They JUST bought the finished product (FaceID) in February.

The company was called RealFace ('https://******************/organization/pickeez#/entity') and they developed the tech and showed it off here ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNlkxGmIgW0').

And [B]here is their website ('https://web.archive.org/web/20161028110840/http://www.realfacetech.com') with more details archived in the Wayback Machine.[/B] Apple took it offline.



Rating: 7 Votes
18 months ago
I hope this scanning feature doesn't affect the battery life :')
Rating: 6 Votes
18 months ago

This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.
Any other company (like Samsung) would have just added the iris scanner to their phone and then only use it for unlocking the device, but when Apple adds it they also ask themselves "what else can we do with the face scanner?" and now here you go!

Can't wait until they finally show off everything the new iPhone can do!


Umm....samsung have loads of features for YEARS related to the user looking at the screen

This is from 4 YEARS AGO!

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00033839/
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago
Pretty neat feature, but it's gonna feel weird knowing my iPhone is always watching me. Many apps tend to suppress notification sounds if you have their app open and vibrate lightly instead, but this seems to take it a step further if it's going to be used how I think it is.

Also, I wonder if Apple will implement other face tracking features similar to what Samsung do in their Samsung Galaxy phones with Smart Pause which briefly pauses videos when you're not looking at the device and resumes when you are and their Smart Stay and Smart Scroll features.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago
I really want a Homepod now. This product is amazing and informative and it hasn't even shipped yet.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago

They didn't get anywhere, that's why the literally bought a finished product including SDK.


Do you really think Apple bought this company, in February, and then decided in the timespan of >1y to integrate that technology, and only that technology, into the next flagship iPhone? Where does Apple's hardware development come into this process - many pieces seem to be coming from PrimeSense, too - so it much be just luck they were able to throw these things together to create a new authentication system?

"Well crap, let's scrap these last few years of R&D, investment, and development into iOS related to facial identification and AI. We'll purchase and only utilize this other solution because, you know, they provide an SDK and we can't get ours to work" was probably not a conversation that was had this year...
Rating: 3 Votes
18 months ago

Umm....samsung have loads of features for YEARS related to the user looking at the screen

This is from 4 YEARS AGO!

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00033839/


And they don't work very well at all, I had the S4 and it had similar features, it was so frustrating to use! So much so I soon came running back to the iPhone!
Rating: 3 Votes

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