Chinese mobile phone maker Vivo has today unveiled new 3D sensing technology which it says has 10 times the accuracy of the Face ID authentication system in Apple's iPhone X.

Vivo says its Time of Flight (TOF) system uses 300,000 data points to map the user's face in three dimensions, compared to the 30,000 points of infrared light used in Apple's facial mapping technology.

vivo 3d sensing camera
The TOF system works by detecting the time it takes for emitted pulse light to return to the sensor, which allows it to accurately map objects at up to three meters in front of it, according to Vivo. The company said the tech would enable "new opportunities in facial, gesture and motion recognition, 3D photography and AR, expanding the capabilities of the next generation of smart devices."

"From last year's debut of In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology, the recent launch of the truly bezel-less Vivo NEX, to our ground-breaking TOF 3D Sensing technology, we continue to forge ahead and evolve towards the truly intelligent future by opening new ways for the AI to help the consumer," said Alex Feng, Senior Vice President of Vivo. "By combining TOF 3D Sensing Technology with AI, we will continue to explore new possibilities for a better future."

Vivo demonstrated the 3D sensing technology at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, a stage it has used in the past to make similar big reveals. Last year Vivo used the platform to unveil its screen-embedded fingerprint sensor technology, at a time when Apple was thought to be struggling to achieve the same result. Of course, it later emerged that Apple was leaving fingerprint recognition systems behind.

Vivo says its latest 3D sensing tech is "no mere proof of concept", but it will be a while before it makes it into a commercial smartphone. Whether the increased number of data points automatically translates in practice to better security and accuracy remains to be seen.

Top Rated Comments

maflynn Avatar
35 months ago
Yea, but does it “just work”?
My FaceID on the iPhone X didn't just work
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
35 months ago
which it says has 10 times the accuracy of the Face ID authentication system in Apple's iPhone X.

Vivo says its Time of Flight (TOF) system uses 300,000 data points to map the user's face in three dimensions, compared to the 30,000 points of infrared light used in Apple's facial mapping technology.
Point of clarification: 10 times the data points does not automatically mean 10 times the accuracy, at least from a usability standpoint. I can draw a straight line, for example, with two points or 50 points and be equally accurate. Of course faces are more complicated, but I’m pointing out that more data points aren’t necessarily more accurate. In fact, if the logic behind the data points isn’t smart, such a setup could theoretically actually be less accurate by interpreting subtle changes in facial expression, or a scar, or a shadow, as a different face.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
35 months ago
My FaceID on the iPhone X didn't just work
How so? Mine is pretty flawless.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
35 months ago
Which I understood, I just meant that by extrapolating your statement, Touch ID is a disaster for someone like my dad.
I don't think faceid or touchid is a failure but I think the term It just works, is an inaccurate over used meme that no longer describes apple products.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kkk123kkk123kkk Avatar
35 months ago
This is just pure dishonest claim by Vivo. (if the article is completely accurate) How can the number of data points be comparable if the underlying technology is completely different. According to this article Vivo is using Time of Flight which is very bad to track anything but motion (like Microsoft 2nd gen Kinect). Apple didn't use Time of Flight for face recognition. They only use Time of Flight as the proximity sensor to trigger rest of the FaceID main components. The main technology Apple use for FaceID is Structured-light which is far more accurate in 3d space recognition than Time of Flight can ever hope to achieve.

To explain why Time of Flight is bad for face recognition no matter how many data point they add. It is due to physic especially speed of the light. Time of Flight rely on detecting extremely tiny difference in time of travel for the light to bounce back from the target. The speed of light is extremely fast, and for the tiny distance between your face and where you normal hold your phone the difference in distance between how far is point A and point B on your face from your phone is too small to tell for any modern CPU (The accuracy is limited by the clock speed. for any CPU it can only detect difference no smaller than its single clock cycle, and for the time between a single clock cycle for a 3Ghz CPU the light can travel almost 10cm during that time. It can barely tell that you had a nose) It might be good for application such as autonomous driving sensor or AR/VR in large space where resolution of few centimeters isn't really that much an issue when combine with other sensors, but unless this article is wrong about which technology they use I wouldn't trust it any more than the pattern lock on Android phone.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
35 months ago
This reminds me so much of the megapixel camera war. More pixels does not always mean a better picture.
The Apple logo does not always mean a better product.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...