Apple's new Face ID technology: What to expect in 2024
A new report says that Apple might implement a new Face ID lens in iPads in the upcoming years. The company shifted its focus to start mass production of metalens in 2024, which is expected to replace the iPad's current plastic lens of the Face ID.
Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most popular Apple analysts of all time, and the insider once again summarized all the intel in a blog post. The post starts with Apple's future plans to replace iPad's plastic Face ID lenses with metalens to make it cheaper and decrease the lens height. However, Kuo thinks that considering the progress of manufacturing process and algorithm, even if Metalens is to replace the lowest-level plastic lens of existing cameras, it will take 2028-2030 at the earliest. This means that we won't see its effects immediately.
"The supply chain is expected to mass-produce Apple's Metalens in 2024, which is expected to replace the plastic lens of the iPad's Face ID Tx," said Kuo.
Apple might use Metalens in iPhones too
TSMC and Caiyu are Apple's key suppliers of Metalens. If these companies match the demand and the metalens used for the iPad in 2024 is successfully shipped, the iPhone Face ID is expected to use Metalens in 2025 or 2026, too. The company wants to spread the technology to every device as soon as possible.
Kuo also said that Apple has three long-term strategic goals, "reduce dependence on existing plastic lenses, Metalens' technology and cost advantages are conducive to product design and sales, Apple expects the fastest in 2026 or 2027 The annual mass-produced Apple Glasses (non-AR/MR helmets) will use Metalens extensively."
The Cupertino company is looking to replace all of its plastic Face ID lenses with Metalens, which is a flat lens technology that uses metasurfaces to focus light. Starting with iPads in 2024, iPhones are next on the line in 2025 and 2026, if only everything goes as planned.
Interestingly, Kuo also mentioned a "glasses-type head-mounted display device," which is probably Apple's AR/VR glasses. Apple Glasses has been in production for many years now, and the reports show that they might be launched in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest. It is known that currently, Apple's AR/VR department is working on the mixed reality headset, which is expected to be announced at WWDC 2023.