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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Apple iPhone X with Face ID: Here are details on how it works

Apple introduced Face ID with iPhone X at an event on September 12. Given Face ID features is a first on any iPhone, several questions like whether it will work with multiple faces or sunglasses, followed the launch.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 16, 2017 9:37:51 am
iPhone X, Apple iPhone X, iPhone X Face ID, iPhone 8 Apple iPhone X Face ID works with most sunglasses, those who let through enough light for face ID to recognise users’ eyes

Apple introduced Face ID with iPhone X at an event on September 12. Given Face ID features is a first on any iPhone, several questions like whether it will work with multiple faces or sunglasses, followed the launch. Now the Cupertino giant seems to have cleared the air by confirming to reporters that Face ID is limited to one face. To switch, users will have to reset the iPhone X. In contrast, Touch ID allows for registering up to five fingerprints to unlock the pone.

Separately, Apple’s Craig Federighi has revealed a coupled of details about Face ID in reply to a mail by Keith Krimbel, who is a product designer. Krimbel posted a screenshot of Federighi’s reply on Twitter along with a caption that read, “E-mailed #CraigFederighi about #FaceID and actually got a response!”

As per the screenshot, Face ID works with most sunglasses, those which let through enough light for Face ID to recognise the users’ eyes. In response to what will prevent a thief from taking the iPhone X, pointing to a user’s face and running away; Federighi explained that the phone won’t unlock if users don’t stare at it. Plus, gripping the buttons on both sides of iPhone X will temporarily disable the Face ID.

Incidentally, Apple’s first Face ID demo failed during a live session at the launch of the iPhone X. Later, Apple cleared the air by explaining that there’s nothing wrong with the Face ID and the error happened because too many people were handling the device for “stage demo” ahead of the actual launch.

Worried that he might have to use passcode on iPhone X more often, the designer asked if the same glitch will happen every time someone else interacts with his phone when it’s locked. However, Federighi elaborated by saying that failure of Face ID hasn’t really been a problem for the Apple employees who’ve been using the phone for months.

“The bio-lockout that I experience on stage would require several interactions by other people with your phone (where they woke up the phone). For those of us who have been living on the iPhone X over the last months this has never been a real problem (hence my shock when it happened on stage :-)” he said.

On the hardware side of things, Apple has gone all out to make Face ID work. The setup contains a TrueDepth camera system made up of a dot projector, infrared camera and flood illuminator. Apple says the new A11 Bionic chip, which has a neural engine works together with all of this to map a user’s face. The Face ID feature will project more than 30,000 invisible IR dots on the user’s face to create a dot pattern, which is used to create a mathematical model of the face. This data is then sent to the “secure enclave” to confirm and unlock the iPhone. Apple says Face ID will adapt to changes over time.

Apple also says the “saved facial information is protected by the secure enclave” and any processing for recognising the face is done on-device itself for better privacy and requests are stored on servers. Face ID only unlocks iPhone X when customers look at it and Apple claims it can’t be fooled by photos or even 3D masks.

Apple ditched Touch ID authentication method for Face ID in the newly launched iPhone X. Apple claims the new Face ID feature is more accurate and secure than Touch ID, which lets users to unlock the device using a fingerprint. Thanks to the “true depth camera system”, Face ID learns users’ face every time they glance at the iPhone – even in dark. Face ID will work with Apple Pay, and other third-party apps.

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