If Apple sticks to its normal announcement schedule, the official unveiling of the next iPhones should happen during the first or second week of September. But two of the device's biggest secrets may already be known. The basic design and its rumored facial recognition features appear to have been confirmed through code buried in a newly leaked firmware.
Steven Troughton-Smith is one of several developers who have been examining the firmware of Apple's HomePod smart speaker that was apparently posted to the web last week. That device's software, in turn, seems to have contained two big secrets related to the next iPhone as well: It contains references to infrared face detection and a diagram of the device's front face.
As reported by MacRumors, Troughton-Smith posted the relevant bits of code on Twitter, including references to infrared face detection as part of the BiometricKit framework. The firmware also includes reference to "BKFaceDetect" and events such as "TooFarFromCamera" and "MultipleFaces."
Even more tantalizing is a graphic of a device resembling the rumored iPhone 8 -- referred to as "D22." It shows what appears to be a nearly bezel-free iPhone with a cut-out intruding into the top of the screen from an earphone and camera (and, presumably, the sensors required for all of the aforementioned facial detection). The has a similar look and feel.
Apple representatives did not respond immediately to CNET's request for comment and CNET has not independently verified the code snippets in question.
Still, with the presumed unveiling of new iPhones just a few weeks away, these apparent revelations seem to confirm some of the many rumors that have been whispered about for months.