Report – Sony to show off new 3D face-scanning for phones

Sony is reportedly geairng up to show off a new technology that allows smartphones to caputure full 3D scans of users’ faces, solving many of the problems that come with current 2D facial recognition features.

As TechCrunch reports, the new functionality will be shown off at MWC in Shanghai this week, using one of Sony’s Xperia handsets.

The presentation will be held by Sony-owned SoftKinect, which will be using technology from Swiss company KeyLemon.

3D face-scanning has the potential to be much more secure than the 2D alternative currently used by many smartphones, which can often be tricked by simply holding up a photo of the owner in front of the scanner.

Related: Sony Xperia 2017

What’s more, according to KeyLemon, the 3D tech will allow facial recognition to work from multiple angles rather than requiring a head-on view.

That’s thanks to the built-in depth sensor, which creates a “depth map” to establish a full 3D representation of the user’s face and head.

Sony logo

If it works as advertised, it should be a much more effective and convenient way for users to unlock their smartphone than current facial-recognition technologies.

It’s an intriguing development, that could prove to be more reliable than even fingerprint sensors, which are currently used as the main form of biometric recognition on a wide range of devices.

But while fingerprint sensors can also be prone to trickery, and can become unreliable if there’s any moisture on users’ fingers, KeyLemon’s tech will presumably avoid these drawbacks.

On top of that, users could conceivably operate their phone without having to touch it, which could prove particularly useful when carrying out tasks such as cooking or other practical things where your phone might be of use but your hands are occupied.

As the report points out, Sony reportedly provided around 40% of image sensors to the industry in 2014, so if the company adopts 3D face-scanning, we’re sure to see it become widespread quickly.

The company is also said to have created a single, front-facing camera lens that contains all the required tech for the sensor to work.

Let us know what you make of the 3D face-scanning in the comments.