It’s been a little more than 10 years since the first iPhone was launched, and today’s event is being touted as a pretty special 10th anniversary event, packed with new hardware and software details. On the hardware side, Apple is reportedly set to unveil the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the higher-end iPhone X, along with plans for a new Apple Watch with mobile connectivity.
On the software and service side, Apple will unveil more details of its iOS 11 software update, which the company said will likely include Apple Business Chat, a chatbot alternative that businesses such as retailers can use to communicate with customers. But, reports over the last few days suggest much more, starting with the Face ID feature.
It’s not clear yet how extensively Face ID will be integrated with Apple Pay, but there is reason to believe Apple is ready to take biometric payment authentication and use of facial recognition technology to a new level, eventually giving shoppers what amounts to a pay-with-your-face capability. Face ID could eventually replace Apple Pay’s current Touch ID fingerprint-based mode of authentication, forcing its mobile payment competitors to hunt down similar capabilities, and giving retailers another reason to accept Apple Pay, as Apple continues to enhance payment security at a time when security fears may be hitting a new peak over the Equifax data breach.
Meanwhile, the new augmented reality capabilities should give developers of AR apps even more technology to play with at a time when up to 80% of shoppers appear to be interested in trying such apps, according to a recent L.E.K. Consulting survey. However, not many smartphone models fully support those AR apps.
It’s not clear yet which of the new iPhone devices will support the new Face ID and AR capabilities. Some reports have suggested the iPhone X will have both. Either way, it opens the door for retailers to create more secure payment methods and reach more customers through augmented reality apps.