The secondary camera on modern smartphones is commonly referred to as the front-facing camera or “selfie” cam. It utilizes the same technologies as the primary camera.
The front-facing camera is primarily used for capturing self-portraits or group shots for social media and video calling purposes.
Furthermore, the front-facing camera works in conjunction with additional technologies to provide face detection for smartphone security features.
Starting from Android Version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) unveiled on October 19, 2011, Android devices have had the ability to unlock phones using a basic facial recognition feature called Face Unlock. However, this method has never been advertised as highly secure.
In September 2017, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 became the first Samsung phone to introduce iris scanning as a secure method for unlocking the device.
Around the same time, Apple announced the iPhone X, which replaced Touch ID (Apple’s fingerprint biometric security) with Face ID.
Apple’s Face ID technology is further enhanced by its ability to sense depth using the front-facing camera and other advanced technologies. As a result, Apple was one of the first manufacturers to introduce 3D avatars or Animoji, capturing users’ voices and facial expressions.