Apple demos Face ID on iPhone X

Unlocking an iPhone X with Face ID
NEW LOOK: People staring intently at their iPhone X may just be waiting for it to unlock…

The new, tenth anniversary iPhone X will not include support for Touch ID and owners will instead use a combination of face recognition and a double click of an enlarged side button to make Apple Pay purchases, the iPhone maker has revealed.

“Face ID revolutionizes authentication on iPhone X, using a state-of-the-art TrueDepth camera system made up of a dot projector, infrared camera and flood illuminator, and is powered by A11 Bionic to accurately map and recognize a face,” Apple says.

“These advanced depth-sensing technologies work together to securely unlock iPhone, enable Apple Pay, gain access to secure apps and many more new features.

“Face ID projects more than 30,000 invisible IR dots. The IR image and dot pattern are pushed through neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face and send the data to the secure enclave to confirm a match, while adapting to physical changes in appearance over time.

“All saved facial information is protected by the secure enclave to keep data extremely secure, while all of the processing is done on-device and not in the cloud to protect user privacy. Face ID only unlocks iPhone X when customers look at it and is designed to prevent spoofing by photos or masks.”

To make an Apple Pay transaction in a store, users will first double tap the side button on their device, then authenticate the transaction via Face ID by looking directly at their phone before touching the device to the merchant’s POS terminal, Apple’s Phil Schiller explained during the launch event for the iPhone X.

Face data is stored in the iPhone X’s secure enclave, Schiller added, and is processed locally on the device. Face ID also offers a far lower likelihood that a random stranger will be able to unlock your iPhone, Schiller said, at one in one million compared to 1:50,000 for Touch ID — unless you have an “evil twin”. Third party apps will also be able to make use of Face ID, Schiller concluded.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, then attempted an on-stage live demonstration of Face ID. While the first verification attempt failed, Federighi was successful with a second device — although the process did involve a noticeable time lag. Readers can watch Federighi’s discomfort from 1:35:50 in the keynote video.

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One comment on this article

  1. Note that Apple claims 1 in 1,000,000 false positives for facial recognition compared to 1 in 50,000 for TouchID. They do not speak to the rate of false rejects that are required to achieve that. One assumes that it is not greater than that for TouchID,

    Note that the technology works in three dimensions in part to resist simple replay attacks using photos.

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