Apple Patent Details Facial Recognition Plans For Macs & iOS Devices

Apple Patent Details Facial Recognition Plans For Macs & iOS Devices

A recently discovered Apple patent reveals that the Cupertino company could be planning to introduction facial recognition technology to its Mac and iOS devices. The system would allow users to login to multi-user machines using only their face, much like the facial recognition feature recently introduced to Google’s Android operating system.

Like Google’s “Face Unlock” system, the technology could allow us to unlock our iOS devices and login to our Macs simply by placing our face in front of them. The device’s camera remains active in the background, even when the device is asleep, so that it instantly detects your presence when you are in front of it.

It seems Apple’s system may be a little more advanced than that made by Google, however, with a number of checks that “detect face corresponding to skin-tone orange portion of acquired frame by finding eyes and mouth,” “normalize detected face based on locations of eyes and mouth of reference image,” and “analyze weight differences between normalized target faces and normalized detected face.”

After these checks are carried out, the system matches the face detected with one of the pre-set target faces, then sets up the device for the detected user.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on a facial recognition system before the iPad was launched back in 2010. It was believed that the technology would make its debut alongside Apple’s tablet, but it’s yet to appear.

[via MacRumors]

  • ddevito

    This is complete and utter BS – right up there with the slide to unlock patent.

    Google had this first, and will expand it and enhance it.

    no patent will ever be valid if there is publicly available prior art
    that has made the invention known to the public before the patent filing.

  • Francisco Garza

    Nice hat Pat!

  • MacHead84

    The method of face detection is very much patent-able. The algorithms of which a company uses to detect a face are whats patented not the “idea” of face detection. 

  • Brandon Dillon

    It’s just the Fandroid troll making his rounds for the day. Don’t mind him.

  • csman

    Not even Google, face recognition is being a Computer Science topic for decades! Hopefully these guys have their own algorithm to do it (fair patent as someone mentioned below), and not just patent ‘dude-looks-at-tablet-wham!-tablet-unlocks’.

  • ddevito

    no one (including apple) can simply get a patent on an ‘idea’ without (a lot) more.

    in order for a patent to be valid, it must ‘enable’ the invention. in a
    nutshell, that means that there must be enough detail for someone else
    in the same field to be able to read the patent and understand exactly
    what the invention is, how it works, and how to make it.  abstract
    concepts are not enough – there must be concrete examples,steps,etc.,
    which spell it out (here, likely a series of algorithms).

    Instead of replying with your useless comment join in on the conversation or STFU.

  • YazeidHafez

    Android has that already?! 

  • Njideka Okafor

    couldn’t help but notice “could be planning to introduction…..” Woah! mhen!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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