There’s a new patent application that reveals that Apple is working on a feature similar to the face unlock built-in feature in Google’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone. As pointed out by PatentlyApple, the future iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Macbook might contain these recognition system as Apple noted.
The aim is to allow the users to unlock the device such as an iPhone or iPad through facial recognition. This could allow the camera of the device to recognize the user even when the sleep mode is switched on. This would mean the device’s camera would be able to detect the user as it will be active in sleep mode and unlock the device without having to tap the sleep/wake button. This would be great as we don’t have to press the Slide to Unlock button to unlock the device.
The interesting feature of the system would be that users would be able to customize settings. For example, different wallpapers and notification settings can be set when detecting different users. This would allow iOS users to easily share a device among family and friends as this would provide multiple user logins.
The system would ignore face biometrics. The patent is entitled “Low Threshold Face Recognition“, and PatentlyApple further explained the techniques are based on a simple, weighted difference map rather than the traditional correlation matching. “High information portions” of a face could be detected by the system such as mouth, lips eyes or the nose. An “orange-distance filter” could be applied which would determine variations in skin tone and also detect the “likely presence” of a user. This would allow to detect the distance between the user’s face and the device including the user’s “level of attentiveness.”
Today’s patent was originally filed in 2009 and the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was experimenting with the facial recognition system in 2010 before the launch of the iPad.
Wouldn’t life be alot easier than having to press the Slide to Unlock button? Share your thoughts below!
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