How Does Face ID Work? Apple's New iPhone X Unlock Feature Is As High-Tech As It Gets
In something you're more likely to see in a Hollywood sci-fi flick, notably Steven Spielberg's 2002 classic Minority Report, iPhone 8 has unveiled some pretty stellar news Tuesday regarding the release of the new iPhone X. Rumors about these updates, including a new facial recognition technology have been swirling around the interwebs for weeks leading up to this mornings announcement and were confirmed Tuesday during a live-stream event from Apple HQ in Cupertino, California. The iPhone X, which ditches the home button and touch ID capabilities in favor of a new facial recognition technology, called FaceID, will now enable users to unlock their phones using just your face. But, how does Face ID work? I'm glad you asked.
Let me back up a second because if you're anything like me and you thought not having a "home button" was a BFD, then this will completely blow your mind. That's because the iPhone X is to include a new facial recognition software which, by a mix of witchcraft and magic aka an infrared scanner, will now have the capability to unlock your phone simply by scanning that beautiful beaming mug of yours. That's right, freckles, dimples, blemishes and all.
Now if you're anything like me, you probably you have about 9-million and one questions about this, starting with the obvious like how does it work? Does it work in the dark? And what if (and this is a very reasonable question in my opinion) you're an identical twin? Which I'm not, but hey, it's still a legitimate question in my book. Here's what we know according to Tuesday afternoon's event:
How Does The it Work?
Using an in-phone camera and infrared 3D scanner, the phone will take a detailed map of your face. 30,000 invisible infrared (IR) dots and patterns are formed into a mathematical model of your face. When you first set you iPhone up you'll be prompted to move your head around a circle so the camera gets to know your face. Face ID then "learns your face and who you are."
How Fast is It?
It happens in real time, very, very quickly and "invisibly" according to Tuesday's keynote announcement.
How Secure is It?
Pretty secure. During the keynote presentation on Tuesday, Apple said there is a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that someone can unlock your phone using face ID.
This update, along with other iPhone related announcements and updates were made available to the public Tuesday via a live stream video from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park at 1 p.m. EST.
Now if you weren't totally sold yet on the X, one of the updates using facial recognition technology is the new Animojis feature in which users will be able to scan their face and an animated emoji, "animoji," will match their expression. Big time bonus. And even better, of the emojis you can turn into animojis is the poop emoji! Aka, you can turn your face into the poop emoji. This is truly the future, and I'm sure it's what everyone dreamed of back in the day when they imagined 2017.
Even though earlier iterations of facial recognition are already in place, nothing like Apple's iPhone X Face ID technology has been available commercially until now. Though I'm sure privacy fiends have their reservations, it's hard to deny that this doesn't seem insanely awesome.
We'll see how this shakes out in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, Ed Snowden is sitting in his windowless apartment somewhere in Russia slowly shaking his head, and not in the direction of his iPhone.
Welcome to Gen X.