Firmware probe indicates Apple iPhone 8 face recog system will see in the dark

The Phones Have Eyes

More details about the upcoming iPhone 8 continue to trickle out, despite Tim Cook and company putting as many fingers as possible in the leaky Apple secrecy dam. This time around, Forbes says an examination of Apple HomePod firmware all but confirms a facial-recognition unlocking feature for the new phone, and as an added bonus, the tech will include invisible infra-red illumination so it will work in the dark.

In addition, another poster who poked around in some code says he found this “iPhone icon” laying around and it looks pretty much like the latest rumored iPhone form factor, with a full-coverage display with little “ears” up top on both sides of the selfie-cam and facial recognition setup. Additionally, a Reddit poster has surmised that the phone’s display will have a pitch of 412 pixels per inch, making the phone a better fit for VR and AR content. Six weeks or so to go.

Take Note

More phone news, this time from Samsung. Tech leaker Evan Blass posted an image of what he says is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung’s follow-up to the infamous Note 7. Looks pretty much like more of the same, with a nearly-full coverage front AMOLED screen that wraps around the edges a bit. Current rumors suggest a dual-camera setup, generally top-shelf performance parameters and, of course, fun times with an S-Pen stylus.

We’ll know more about the Note 8 just ahead of the new iPhone 8, as the phone is expected to get a formal debut at the end of this month, with phones shipping in September.

But can Alexa make popcorn?

Someday, sooner than later, we’ll chuckle at the memory of using clunky remotes to work our TVs… or maybe anything at all. Why? Because everything is going to work by voice command, and it looks like Amazon is leading the way.

Sure, there are remotes you can talk to that will maybe help you find that Penny Dreadful episode you missed, but now Amazon is expanding AI voice-bot Alexa’s abilities to include controlling their Fire TV streaming devices, so it’s game on for Google and Apple. And the voice control goes beyond finding a show or movie, you can also change volume levels, select a new input or change the channel – if you’re using HD bunny ears.

Amazon also said that future features will include switching to check out the view from security cameras that will have Alexa integration. Heck, that could be some of the best stuff on your TV… Check out all the details about Alexa’s new abilities at the link, and by the way, the enhanced services roll out today. Thanks, Jeff.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.