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.