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After Face ID on iPhone X, Apple patent hints at rollout for iMac, MacBook and iPad: Report

This year's iPhone X debuted Face ID, moving beyond Touch ID

  • Updated: December 20, 2017 12:59 PM IST
iphone-x-face-id

Highlights

  • With the iPhone X, Apple opted for face recognition and authentication.

  • The iPhone X ditched fingerprint authentication, or Touch ID as the company refers to it.

  • A new Apple patent reveals that Face ID could come to other products as well.

One of the most interesting highlights and innovations of this year has got to be the iPhone X. A great deal of that innovation has been implemented to put Face ID together. It comprises a complex mechanism that involves blasting your face with 30,000 infrared dots to detect depth, contours and mapping your facial identity to authenticate you.

With the implementation of Face ID, Apple has managed to leapfront beyond its fingerprint recognition feature – Touch ID. We now see the possibility of Face ID going a step further, and seeings itself implemented in the wider Apple product range. If a report by AppleWorld Today is something to go by, then Apple seems to have landed itself a patent that could see Face ID coming to the Macs and iPads soon.

The official patent document sets the context by describing the presence of light sources, light detectors, and image sensors in an electronic device. It goes on to say that the ‘light-based components may be aligned with a window in the device.’ This could be a reference to the infamous notch found on the iPhone X. This possibility is reinforced by the description that the ‘window may be formed within an inactive border region of a display or within other device structures.’

Image: USPTO

Things get interesting, since the patent hints at the use of chalcogenide glass for the notch to block out visible light, which is understandable. But it also describes that the notch (which it refers to as a window) could have ‘an opaque appearance that matches the opaque appearance of surrounding portions of the inactive portion of the display while simultaneously allowing infrared light such as light in a region of wavelengths between 5 and 14 microns or other suitable infrared light to pass to infrared light sensors aligned with the window.’

Image: USPTO

This could precisely be what we needed all along. A true bezel-less device – whether it’s the iPhone, iPad, iMac or MacBook – without a notch that’s in your face.

In July, we read about face detection coming to the Mac lineup of Apple computers. Since the computing device can now detect the presence of a user in the vicinity, it also opens up the possibility of customized settings based on the environment, much like specific TrueTone settings based on who’s around the device.

The patent document further reveals that ‘infrared detectors such as thermopile and pyroelectric detectors may be used to monitor for the presence of a user in the vicinity of the electronic device while consuming small amounts of power.’ It also talks about fresnel lenses or other light directing structures being used to direct light to infrared detectors. Lastly, the document describes the possibility of a visible light camera or similar component could be activated once the presence of a user is detected

  • Published Date: December 20, 2017 12:51 PM IST
  • Updated Date: December 20, 2017 12:59 PM IST


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