Apple Lasers and Equifax

iphonex-front-facing-camera

The big Apple news last week was the introduction of three new phones including their most advanced iPhone X. One of the best services I subscribe to is Technology & Opportunity, T&O covered the news and described the introduction of the new way to unlock the phone using “Face ID.” It uses an array of sensor components that measure both light and depth. Apple has developed a nearly foolproof method of verifying the ID of users.

T&O likes to tear into the components of the phone and their manufacturers. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo detailed the components in a note to investors, and that information quickly disseminated across various corners of the web. Ming-Chi Kuo is widely regarded as the most accurate Apple analyst in the game, not to mention the basic workings of “Face ID” originally predicted by Kuo were effectively confirmed by Apple on Tuesday (albeit with slightly different nomenclature).

According to Kuo, the iPhone X’s 3D-sensing technology relies on five main components:

  • Structured light transmitter
  • Structured light receiver
  • Front camera
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Proximity (time-of-flight) sensor.

Without getting into too much detail, these components all coordinate to stitch a complete three-dimensional image by integrating depth information with two-dimensional image data from the front-facing camera. Do you remember that famous scene in The Graduate when an older man gives Dustin Hoffman the secret to the future? He whispered “plastics.” The secret to Apple’s phone in one word would be “lasers.” Then T&O tells you who the vendors are and who’s going to benefit. For that information, you will have to get with a subscription to Technology & Opportunity. At $99 a year, it seems like a bargain.

I can tell you this, to introduce Face ID, you need 3D technology and the companies working behind the scenes are using optics and lasers, and this will only expand usage. We are just at the beginning of this movement. Some of the companies talked about in this report are expected to grow at 20% CAGR until 2022.

The other piece of news was the hack on Equifax that released the information of 143 million Americans. That information includes name, address, birthday and social security numbers. That opens half of Americans to identity theft and credit scams. T&O suggests ways to protect yourself:

  • Make sure you have credit alerts enabled for your banking information.
  • Make sure you know if someone is using your accounts.
  • Watch out for the cold callers. For people to access your information, they need to know a few things about you. Sadly, most Americans volunteer this information freely.
  • Change your passwords.

Then as an investor take a look at the companies that sell security solutions. In 2015, the average company with over 1,000 employees spent $15 million a year fighting cybercrime. That’s a large sum, and with cybercrime on the rise, it’s only increasing. In fact, Inc. predicted that 2017 would be the worst year for cybercrime yet.

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