The USPTO has just granted Apple their requested patent for face ID advancements, which is set to enable the feature to work better in challenging light conditions as well as allowing for partial face recognition. The current method of face recognition initially rejects a face detection image if only part of the face appears visible, thus the Apple device cannot be unlocked. However, Apple’s new invention plans on strengthening the reliability of the image by utilising the “TrueDepth” camera on the device.
The new feature is set to provide a bounding box if a face is detected in the image. The orientation of the device will also not be a disruptive factor, as the new addition is set to detect a face image regardless of the device’s position. In addition to the latter, the bounding box will also be able to process images of a user in which only a partial amount of the face is visible.
This patent clearly demonstrates the elaboration and strengthening of an existing feature, rather than the incorporation of a new one. It is likely to aid many of its users, as the necessity of the FaceID function rises, whilst Apple’s incorporation of the home button decreases. It will enable a user to use ApplePay or unlock their phone with ease, rather than trying to use lighting to their advantage. It also appears beneficial from a health and safety aspect, as the partial recognition feature could enable users to utilise FaceID without removing their facemask in public. This hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, however it appears likely, and the security of the phone will not be affected as the TrueDepth camera will enable the feature to ensure the correct user is entering the device.
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