Apple patent application details face detection to unlock, customize and interact with iOS devices

“Apple has shown continued interest in using the forward facing camera on devices like the iPhone to unlock the display and customize its layout based on detecting the identity of the person using it,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“This week, AppleInsider found another example of Apple’s desire to have iOS devices recognize users in a new patent application entitled ‘Electronic Device Operation Adjustment Based on Face Detection,'” Hughes reports. “It describes using a forward facing camera on a device to recognize individual users and also track the orientation of their face with respect to the device.”

Hughes reports, “The application describes a system that could scan and detect a specific user’s face, and then unlock the device after the person has been recognized. If the user cannot be identified by the system, they would then be presented with the option of entering a security code to unlock the iPhone or iPad. But Apple’s application goes well beyond simply unlocking the device. By recognizing a specific user, the system could customize its layout or other settings based on the pre-set preferences of that authorized user.”

Much more in the full article, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, here.

16 Comments

    1. I used to work in that field.

      There are a ton of patents for facial recognition. Samsung of all companies has many that are directly related to mobile devices. They were heavily filing facial rec patents in the 2005-2007 timeframe.

      Any litigation would need to be very implementation specific. A broad patent would be hard to get at this point

  1. I really hope that if Apple implements this, they do a better job than it has been done on Android. Simply holding a picture of the phone’s owner in front of it is enough to unlock it.

    Not very secure.

    1. EXACTLY. If facial recognition is added as another layer of security on top of other methods, that’s helpful. But on its own it’s not good enough.

      What’s different here is customizing the account login for the specific person recognized. That could be a nice feature.

      Anyone remember the ‘voice recognition’ security available in Mac OS 9? That was a big FAIL. Theoretically it could work much better with the noise cancelation build into the iPhone, and hopefully every other Apple device with time.

  2. This is going to be awesome on laptops.

    You will be able to have your laptop lock itself securely when you are away.

    And when you are in front of your macbook air . . . voila, your desktop opens up with all the stuff you need without typing a thing.

    1. while a great feature, slightly concerning to have your computer continually monitoring you. Especially when recent reports show Apple can give some information to the government…

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