“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.

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