Apple's latest splurge proves the future of the iPhone is freakin' lasers

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Apple said this week it will give $390m to USA technology company Finisar, which produces the face-scanning lasers in the iPhone X's Face ID system.

Apple uses it for Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies with the iPhone X TrueDepth camera and the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

Also, with Apple harboring lofty dreams with its Face ID tech, with plans to incorporate the same on a forthcoming version of iPad Pro, demand for VCSEL is only expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. Apple said it will purchase 10 times more of the technology this quarter than has ever previously been manufactured over a three-month period. Still, Finisar stock is up 30 percent today, and this is a big deal for the company, which is nearly 30 years old and survived the dotcom bubble and crash experience. The iPhone maker will give Finisar $390 million, a portion of its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, to help "support innovation and job creation by American manufacturers".

Finisar will use the money to refurbish a manufacturing plant in Texas where it will build chips created to power special iPhone features including Face ID, animojis and portrait photography. They also appear in the AirPod earphones to sense when you are listening to music and when you have removed them from your ear.

Because the parts Finisar supplies are new and in extremely limited supply, the deal also helps Apple lock out Samsung, Huawei and other competitors in the premium smartphone space that are working to develop similar features, analysts said.

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Lumentum is the top supplier of VCSELs and represents a "single source risk" for Apple, he added.

The new factory will create over 500 jobs in Sherman, Texas, Apple said in a press release. The company expects to commence shipping from the second half of 2018 itself, with all the VCSELs that Apple buys from Finisar set to be produced in the Sherman plant itself. The iPhone X is now the only Apple product with a facial recognition sensor.

With much of the manufacturing and assembly for its products done in China, Apple has faced criticism from US President Donald Trump and others for not creating more jobs in the US Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced the manufacturing fund in May.

It will only unlock your device when you look in the direction of the iPhone X with your eyes open.

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