Apple 3D sensor supplier bullish on face recognition
01 February 2018 15:10 GMT

Taiwanese firm Win Semiconductors is upbeat on facial recognition, and plans to keep production local.

Staff from Win Semiconductors, the sole manufacturer of laser components for the facial recognition system in the iPhone X, told the Nikkei Asian Review that is plans to boost capacity amid rising demand.

There is "surging" demand for 3-D sensing applications for smartphones and other electronic devices, according to the company's top executives.

"We will at least more than double our capital expenditure in 2018 to meet expanding uses of 3-D sensing features in various devices," said Wang Yu-Chi, chief executive of Win Semi, in a recent interview with the Nikkei Asian Review. For all of 2017, the Taiwanese company's capex amounted to some $100 million.

"The 3-D sensing applications will not be limited to unlocking the phones. We believe such a feature will not only scan faces but also be able to scan objects or sense the environment in the future," said Wang.

David Dai, an analyst Sanford C. Bernstein, told the magazine that all of the 3-D sensing-related components in an iPhone X cost around $20, with lasers the most expensive parts.

Wang said he saw expansion opportunities for 3-D sensing in smartphones as the feature is still in its nascent stage. It is likely that the technology will very soon be used in gadgets other than mobile phones, including robot vacuum cleaners, smart speakers and other home appliances, according to Wang.