Sony's phones used to stand out from the crowd thanks to features like water-resistance and high-resolution camera sensors. Now, everyone has those. So, what's next for Sony? Maybe a 3D depth sensor pointed at your face. Sony subsidiary SoftKinetic, which makes advanced camera sensors, is set to demo such a device at MWC Shanghai this week.

Why would you want a 3D depth sensor on the front of your phone? It has the potential to boost the speed and accuracy of facial recognition. Android has had face unlock in various forms for years, but that can often be fooled by a photo of the owner. A regular 2D camera sensor can't tell the difference, but a 3D sensor can. You'd need a bust of the owner to defeat 3D face unlock. The demo device will use 3D facial recognition technology from a Swiss company called KeyLemon.

SoftKinetic will demo this technology integrated with a Sony Xperia smartphone, so it's at least feasible to build a device with this module included. Sony might not be able to sell a phone with a fingerprint sensor in the US, but maybe they can make this happen. Well, eventually.