Apple exploring face detection to unlock, customize & interact with iOS devices

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014


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.



Evidence of Apple's interest in having devices identify users with facial recognition technology has repeatedly cropped up. In early 2010, before the iPad was announced, The Wall Street Journal revealed that an early prototype of Apple's touchscreen tablet would use a forward-facing camera to recognize users' faces, allowing it to be one device easily shared by the entire family.



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." 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.



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.



"If the detected human face is recognized... an operation of the (device) can be modified based upon the recognized human face," the application reads. "The modification can include executing a pre-defined set of operations such as opening email, opening text messages, and so forth."



A similar concept was detailed in another patent application discovered by AppleInsider in December of 2011. That filing described iPhones and iPads that could automatically customize applications, settings and features to a user's personal preferences once they pick up the device.











The latest application revealed this week also presents a new potential use for the forward facing camera on iOS devices, describing a system that would automatically adjust the images on screen based on the orientation of a user's face.



"The facial data can be used to determine an orientation of the human face relative to the orientation of the presented visual content," the filing reads. "In other words, the electronic device can determine if the orientation of the presented visual content, is substantially the same, or different, than the orientation of the human face."



In this way, the content on the screen could readjust itself so that the user can more clearly see it at the proper angle, without any distortion.



Facial recognition technology could also be used to automatically lock a device and put it into sleep mode. If a human face is not detected by the system over a set period of time, the system would presume that it is not in use, and it would automatically lock the screen.



The application, made public this week, was first filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September of 2010. It is credited to John E. Arthur.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    And in other news, HTC Granted patent on facial regonition to unlock



    http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/04/0...r-face-unlock/
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Cool- So in other words the new AppleTV will be able to interact like a Microsoft Kinect?

    Just sayin'...
  • newrocketnewrocket Posts: 3member
    I think it would be way better if they put some sort of fingerprint scanner on the home button.

    And it would automatically unlock when you press the button and it detects the right fingerprint, if the fingerprint is wrong it prompts you with a password.
  • gustavgustav Posts: 799member
    I hope it works better than the Android phones, where you can use a picture of the person to unlock the phone.
  • dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newrocket View Post


    I think it would be way better if they put some sort of fingerprint scanner on the home button.

    And it would automatically unlock when you press the button and it detects the right fingerprint, if the fingerprint is wrong it prompts you with a password.



    I was just going to say that it's a good thing Apple is looking to apply this type of technology in their products. By the looks of the poor kid's hands in the illustration it's apparent he would have difficulty using the "slide to unlock" feature of iOS devices so I think fingerprint detection technology would be completely out of the question.
  • quinneyquinney Posts: 2,379member
    I didn't know there were Doc Martens golf spikes.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    And in other news, HTC Granted patent on facial regonition to unlock



    http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/04/0...r-face-unlock/



    That patent is going to be invalidated as soon as someone challenges it. The technology has been known for many years. For example, I bought an HP laptop with fingerprint scanner almost a decade ago which would fall under the claims of HTC's patent.
  • wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    Apple bought Polar Rose, a Swedish company that specializes in Facial Recognition software a couple years back..
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,028member
    It better be more accurate than iPhoto that's all I can say! If not Brad Pitt will be able to access my devices ...
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,028member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    I was just going to say that it's a good thing Apple is looking to apply this type of technology in their products. By the looks of the poor kid's hands in the illustration it's apparent he would have difficulty using the "slide to unlock" feature of iOS devices so I think fingerprint detection technology would be completely out of the question.



    That kid's hand is seemingly designed to facilitate easy reseting of his Netgear Router or ejecting a floppy from his Mac Plus!
  • knocksknocks Posts: 5member
    Notification center, facial recognition. What else is Apple looking to steal from Android? Maybe it's time to go thermonuclear on them?
  • agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Knocks View Post


    Notification center, facial recognition. What else is Apple looking to steal from Android? Maybe it's time to go thermonuclear on them?



    I know, I was thinking the same thing. it what happens when the competition is at 51% in your home country.
  • dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    I didn't know there were Doc Martens golf spikes.



    They look more like Lugz, the kid has a serious case of whiplash.
  • palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,064member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    I hope it works better than the Android phones, where you can use a picture of the person to unlock the phone.



    Yeah that seems like the obvious "hack" to bypass security.

    A Z-depth cam like the Kinect would be able to easily distinguish between a flat surface picture and a three dimentional head though. Or maybe you have to turn your head from side to side to log in.



    The auto rotation of content... I don't know.. It'll draw an awful lot of power if the camera is on all the time, analyzing the image. Plus, it'll feel weird.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    I hope it works better than the Android phones, where you can use a picture of the person to unlock the phone.



    Samsung is going to require that you blink to unlock the phone.



    http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/29/29...on-face-unlock



    Of course, they must have stolen the idea from Apple. /s
  • orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    I hope it works better than the Android phones, where you can use a picture of the person to unlock the phone.



    If someone randomly takes or finds your phone (maybe you leave it in a bar) the odds are they won't have a picture of you.



    It's not particularly strong protection but it is beter than the no security which is what many people use.
  • openmindedopenminded Posts: 20member
    So none of you fanboys are going to point out the fact that Ice Cream Sandwich already has this feature? I guess if Apple rips it off from somebody else, it's okay.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    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.



    Evidence of Apple's interest in having devices identify users with facial recognition technology has repeatedly cropped up. In early 2010, before the iPad was announced, The Wall Street Journal revealed that an early prototype of Apple's touchscreen tablet would use a forward-facing camera to recognize users' faces, allowing it to be one device easily shared by the entire family.








    These guesses make little sense. The iPhone is a personal device - it is not shared, and there is little reason to think that multiple users would need a "custom layout".



    With the iPad, keeping it personal likely results in multiple sales for families, with members having their own device, rather than sharing a common device.



    I can see this tech being used on desktop machines, but not on iOS devices.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    That kid's hand is seemingly designed to facilitate easy reseting of his Netgear Router or ejecting a floppy from his Mac Plus!





    I love the graphic. Typical Apple fan, captured in just a few simple lines.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by openminded View Post


    So none of you fanboys are going to point out the fact that Ice Cream Sandwich already has this feature? I guess if Apple rips it off from somebody else, it's okay.



    Apple has always been shameless about stealing great ideas. Why is this anything new?
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