HomePod firmware confirms iPhone 8 design and face unlock

Further tinkering with the HomePod firmware has confirmed iPhone 8’s top-notch, bezel-less design and the presence of a ‘PearlID’ feature which refers to face scanning using infra-red technology. These details have been revealed on Twitter by developers Steve Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo.
HomePod is not going to be released to the end-user anytime soon. However, the firmware was released online by Apple and quickly spotted by Steve and taken apart. Earlier, details were reveled of how different features of HomePod work thanks to the firmware. While those details did not seem so interesting, the iPhone 8 details found in the firmware would not make Apple happy. Thanks to the firmware, the top-notch design and bezel-less display have been confirmed. It has also been revealed from BiometricKit in the firmware that face-scanning will be available in iPhone 8. It is codenamed PearlID in the code and will take advantage of an infrared sensor. The firmware also mentions iPhone9,9, which likely refers to iPhone 7s.

This is the design frame extracted from the firmware:iPhone 8

It has been rumored that Apple will get rid of TouchID in iPhone 8 and replace it with face scanning for device unlock and Apple Pay. Of course, users are not happy about this as face scanning has historically been slow, inaccurate and easy to trick. Since TouchID under the display has yielded the intended results, as per rumors, Apple will be relying on face scanning functionality that should be miles ahead of the competition. iPhone 8 is also expected to have a new chip called Apple Neural Engine and support for wireless charging but these have not been found in the HomePod firmware  yet.

iOS 11 does not provide any such information because it was meant to be released to developers and public beta testers. So, developers would be careful to not include any information related to future products. Seems like someone at Apple dropped the ball on the HomePod firmware. It seems to have been pushed out too early as we still do no have a launch date for HomePod.

Update: Further investigation of the firmware by different developers has revealed more details about HomePod. It supports a display resolution of 272×340 and ships with 1GB RAM. The firmware also details some iPhone 8 only features which include references to the new split status bar, because of the top-notch design. There are also references to a variety facial expressions which the 3D face scanner in iPhone 8 should be able to detect.

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