Apple has reportedly bought a Tel Aviv-based firm called RealFace, adding more weight to the rumours that its iPhone 8 will offer Samsung-style face scanning functionality.
RealFace is a cyber security and machine learning startup from Israel that focuses on facial recognition technology as an alternative to traditional passwords and fingerprint recognition.
The firm, which employs just 10 people, is said to have developed a unique system that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) to give the most accurate and "frictionless" face recognition possible.
RealFace is also the brains behind an iOS app called Pickeez that uses the firm's |highly-accurate" facial recognition technology to choose and collate a user's best photos across all online profiles.
The firm now belongs to Apple, according to a report at Calcalist that claims Tel Aviv-based company, founded in 2014, was snapped up by the iPhone maker for "several million dollars".
Apple has yet to confirm the acquisition but RealFace's website has been taken offline, something that usually happens after a company has been picked up by Apple.
What's more, the reported buyout comes amid speculation that Apple is looking to dump the traditional home button on its next-generation iPhone. Instead, the firm is reportedly exploring some form of facial or gesture recognition, perhaps similar to the iris scanner that's set to feature on the Galaxy S8.
In order to make this work, Apple will reportedly equip the iPhone 8 with a Minority Report-style front-facing 3D laser scanner, which likely would benefit from RealFace's technology.
Apple also last year acquired Emotient, an artificial intelligence (AI) outfit that specialised in facial recognition technology.
AlphaBay users had flocked to Hansa after it was closed down - not realising it had already been taken over by Dutch police
Microsoft closes in on $100bn annual revenues with sales weighing-in at $23.3bn
Moves to take down cyber-squatted domains reveals Fancy Bear hacking network, claims Microsoft
Intel claims 'world first' in artificial intelligence that can be plugged-in almost anywhere