The Google Pixel 3 And Pixel 3 XL Might Feature 3D Facial Recognition Suggest Leaks, Computational Neural Network And The Visual Core


If there's one thing that Google truly needs to be proud of, it's the Pixel lineup. In just two years, the company has successfully leveraged its software expertise in the smartphone market, managing to produce gadgets that outperform their more heavily equipped counterparts in camera performance. Google's Pixel 2 lineup is fantastic when we consider rear camera performance.

While the pair does not feature dual rear cameras, they still manage to beat devices that do come with the extra sensor. Google's computational photography works wonders and manages to effectively differentiate between an image's foreground and background. This results in a shallow depth of field effect that is similar to one found on SLR cameras.

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However, CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) isn't the only strength of Google's latest smartphone pair, despite being trained extensively to differentiate between faces and objects. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also feature a chip called Visual Core. The Visual Core is an
ARM Cortex A53 processor that features eight IPUs (Image Processing Units).

It's aimed to speed up the Pixel 2 lineup's HDR+ photography which sits at the heart of CNN and shallow depth of field effects.  Combined, these advances in camera technology will also allow Google to take a huge step this year if our hunch and recent leaks bear fruit. Take a look below for more details.

First Rumors For The Google Pixel 3 Lineup Start To Build Hype For A Dual Front Camera Setup; Will Google Become The First Android Manufacturer To Launch True Smartphone-Based 3D Facial Recognition?

Recently, we've started to witness leaks for the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Only two have taken place this year, with a time difference of mere days in between them. The first was in the form of a rather simple and suspicious image. Disseminated via the Chinese social network Weibo, its source took it down soon after posting.

The image, which you can see below claims to depict two screen protectors, for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It makes the rather simple suggestion that Google will continue its launch pattern of two devices per year in 2018.

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In addition, the leak also reveals two critical details. The first shows a display notch on the larger Pixel 3 XL. If true, then this decision will irritate a lot of Android users. While the presence of a display cutout might be controversial for some, we're more interested in the third detail present in the leak.

Take a closer look and you'll spot what are two identical, circular sensor cutouts at the top of the screen protectors. These clearly suggest the presence of a dual front camera on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It's an interesting fact which Google's manufacturing partner HTC has already tested out on the U12+.

While the Pixel 2 lineup's Computational Neural Network is capable of recognizing and differentiating between faces and objects (a feature that also extends to the front camera), 3D facial recognition is a different ball game. Right now,  the gold standard in the industry is Apple's True Depth camera setup found on the iPhone X.

The setup has eight different sensors and shows us how important proper hardware is for superior performance. The iPhone X uses 3D mapping with the front sensors to deliver a similar shallow depth of field effect as the Google Pixel 2s. The processing is carried out by iPhone's dedicated ISP for photographs and the A11's neural engine for Face ID authentication.

Google Has Nearly All The Tools Present For 3D Facial Recognition On The Pixel 3 Lineup; Visual Core, Computational Neural Networks, And A Dual Camera Setup Might Finally Pave The Way For Feature On Android

A recent report by Bloomberg partially confirms details provided by the alleged screen protector leak. While the image shows dual front cameras for both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Bloomberg reports that only the larger device will carry the setup. It goes on to mention that this time Foxconn will manufacture Google's smartphones, indicating a stricter control over the process by the company.

Two different sources confirming a dual camera setup provides us room for some optimistic and well-reasoned speculation. Right now, Google has all the necessary tools to capture and authenticate accurate 3D facial maps. All that it's missing is a secondary sensor that will allow for accurate triangulation by using binocular disparity from the data gathered by both sensors.

An upgrade to the Visual Core and improved algorithms combined with the front dual camera sensors will definitely enable Google to match Apple's Face ID through its unique solution. If any company has the dedication to pull it off, it's Google.

Mountain View's recent partnership with HTC gives it a boost in hardware design as well - and experimentation on the U12+ with a dual front camera setup will move things forward significantly.  So will Google introduce 3D facial recognition/mapping on the Pixel 3 lineup? Right now, a lot of stars are definitely moving to align. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.