“Apple on Tuesday was awarded a patent covering the detection of human faces in digital video feeds by leveraging depth map information, technology that could be a building block of a face-based bio-recognition system rumored to debut with this year’s iPhone,” Mikey Campbell writes for AppleInsider.

“Granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 9,589,177 for ‘Enhanced face detection using depth information’ describes an offshoot of computer vision technology that applies specialized hardware and software systems to object recognition tasks, specifically those involving human faces,” Campbell writes. “The invention is part of a patent stash acquired by Apple through its 2013 purchase of Israeli motion capture specialist PrimeSense.”

“To cut down on processing overhead and potential false readings, Apple proposes applying depth information to existing face detection algorithms,” Campbell writes. “Whether Apple plans to integrate the invention into a future product is unknown, but a similar solution might show up in iPhone later this year. According to the latest predictions from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is rumored to include a ‘revolutionary’ front-facing 3D camera system in this year’s OLED iPhone model.”

Read more, and see Apple patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This PrimeSense depth mapping tech also forms the basis of how iPhone 7 Plus creates artificial bokeh in Portrait mode. Expect features and capabilities beyond facial recognition and bokeh with this technology.

SEE ALSO:
TrendForce: Apple to make over 100 million tenth anniversary iPhones this year; to feature AMOLED display; 3D facial recognition – February 21, 2017
Apple acquires Israeli facial recognition firm RealFace – February 20, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s new facial recognition system will usher in ‘paradigm shift’ in biometric identification – January 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple’s next-gen iPhone could deliver facial recognition via new laser, infrared sensors – January 18, 2017
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition? – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016
Apple has purchased facial motion-capture company FaceShift – September 4, 2015
Apple patent application details facial and feature recognition techniques – February 20, 2014
Apple wins patent for 3D iPhone UI with motion gestures; reassigns PrimeSense 3D mapping patent – December 9, 2014
Apple, Facebook, Walmart to help U.S. government to develop facial recognition guidelines – December 16, 2013
Apple confirms acquisition of Israel’s PrimeSense, company behind Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, for $350 million – November 25, 2013
Apple’s patent application details ‘locking and unlocking a mobile device using facial recognition’ – September 20, 2012
Apple patent application reveals 3D-based secure facial recognition system – May 10, 2012