iPhone 8 could use 3D face-scanning technology in place of Touch ID

Looking at your iPhone 8 may be enough to unlock it, without needing to press a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a button that Apple may be replacing altogether.

The rumored 10th anniversary iPhone is being tested using a 3D facing-scanning sensor that's said to be a jack-of-all trades: it can unlock the phone, authenticate Apple Pay transactions and launch secure apps, according to Bloomberg.

3D face-scanning is touted as an improved security system in the report. But it also seems to be a solution for ridding the new iPhone of the all-important, yet room-hogging fingerprint sensor in order to give it a trendy, bezel-less display.

There are rumors that suggest Apple will embed a fingerprint sensor beneath the display glass, but just as many reports indicate this is a tricky feat and could very well be saved for the iPhone 9.

FaceTime unlock

Facing scanning unlock methods sound futuristic, but as any Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus user will tell you, it doesn't always work as advertised.

Samsung Galaxy uses face unlock and iris scanning

Samsung Galaxy uses face unlock and iris scanning

What's Apple doing differently? Where Samsung's face unlock technology failed on many humans yet could be fooled by 2D pictures, Apple's sensor solution is said to have 3D depth perception.

Apple's version of face unlock, if it ends up in the final iPhone 8 design, is said to be faster, working within a few hundred milliseconds. It'll also reportedly be able to scan faces even when lying flat on a table.

That would address our complaint of having to hold the such a phone up close to our face for two seconds every time we want to bypass the lockscreen.

Of course, with so many back-and-forth iPhone 8 rumors, nothing is final about this 10th anniversary iPhone until Apple CEO Tim Cook holds one up on stage in September – and even that usual timing doesn't always sound like a sure thing.

Matt Swider