LG Innotek to supply facial recognition camera for iPhone 8

LG Innotek has been commissioned to build facial recognition camera modules for iPhone 8, Korea Economic Daily reported on Thursday. The Korean company has invested 269.7 billion won, or about $238.50 million, in a new manufacturing plant that will be dedicated to Apple’s orders, The Investor reported Thursday.

An all-new plant is required for the production of the camera component because, according to The Investor, iPhone 8’s facial recognition module will be really small and capable of advanced 3D facial recognition in order to achieve better accuracy that the front-facing camera on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which uses 2D images for the facial recognition function.

LG Innotek is the parts unit of LG Group and the supplier of dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus cameras.

“Apple and LG Innotek, the market leader in the smartphone camera module market, teamed up last year to develop the world’s first 3D facial recognition camera system that can be used for a variety of applications from biometric authentication to games,” reads the article.

The initial deal size is estimated at about 200 billion won, or about $177 million.

KGI Securities was first to predict that iPhone 8 would come outfitted with a 3D sensor allowing users to capture 3D selfies, map their surroundings in 3D, scan objects in 3D, use augmented reality features  and more.

Barclays thinks that both front and back cameras on iPhone 8 will support these 3D and augmented reality features. Barron’s said in March that Apple had contracted a company called Himax Technologies to build 3D sensors for the OLED iPhone.