iPhone 8 facial recognition could be used to silence your notifications

You're in the middle of an intense conversation and your phone begins to beep loudly on the table in front of you. You pick it up, quickly glance at the alerts coming in, then forcefully press a button to silence your device. 

"Sorry" you mutter as you sheepishly put the phone back down, hoping your best friend doesn't message you again or your latest Facebook post doesn't attract more likes in the next 30 minutes. 

It's not the worst problem to have, but a reference in the eternal spring that is the Apple HomePod source code points to an iPhone 8 feature that could silence the phone's alerts when a user simply looks at its screen.

Developer Guilherme Rambo posted the 'TLAttentionAwarenessObserver' code snippet on Twitter, which seemingly suggests the new iPhone will detect when you're looking at its display and mute notification noises accordingly.

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This is no confirmation of a final feature, but it would be another likely use for the iPhone 8's rumored 3D face-scanning technology. 

A previous leak (courtesy of more code spotted by Rambo as well as developer Steve Troughton-Smith), hints the iPhone 8 will have infrared face unlock, a form of biometric security that would let users access the device without physically engaging with its lockscreen. 

Utilizing the same sensors, the iPhone 8 could be smart enough to know that you're looking at your phone as notifications roll in, 'shushing' the alerts because you obviously already see them. This would almost certainly be an optional setting, allowing you to still hear those bleeps and boops if you so choose.

A few phones on the market already silence alerts or stop ringing when you pick them up, but going quiet when you look at the iPhone 8 would be new territory for a device. 

We'll see if this feature makes the final cut when the iPhone 8 is (probably) announced next month, but until then, you're stuck silencing your phone the old fashioned way.

Via 9to5Mac

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Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.