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You really might unlock your next iPhone with your face

Apple is reportedly testing out a 3D sensor in its next iPhone that could make the rumored facial recognition security feature a reality.

Remember when a fingerprint sensor was the cool kid on the block?
Josh Miller/CNET

Touch ID is so passé. Soon you could be unlocking your phone and paying for things with just your mug.

Bloomberg on Monday reported that Apple is testing out an improved security system for its next iPhone -- powered by a 3D sensor -- that allows users to log in, authenticate payments and launch secure apps by scanning their face. The story cites "people familiar with the product" as its source.

The feature can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone "within a few hundred milliseconds," Bloomberg said, adding that it can work even if the device is lying flat on a table. And it would replace the current Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the iPhone, the report said.

Apple representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment and confirmation.

But the report meshes with earlier rumors that the iPhone 8 would get facial recognition, an idea that first surfaced in February when Apple bought Israeli startup RealFace. Later, reports came out that Apple is reportedly working with LG Innotek, a branch of LG that makes electronic components, to supply the world's first 3D facial recognition-capable camera to the iPhone 8.

The 3D feature gives the camera the ability to sense depth, which at least in theory, would make the act of unlocking the phone with your face more secure. The facial recognition feature in the Samsung Galaxy S8, for example, has reportedly been fooled by using a simple photograph