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Apple's future iPhones & iPads could automatically personalize via face recognition

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Using a forward-facing camera to recognize an individual user, future iPhones and iPads from Apple could automatically customize applications, settings and features to a user's personal preferences once they pick up the device.

Apple's concept was revealed in a new patent application published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered by AppleInsider. Entitled "Low Threshold Face Recognition," it describes a low-computation solution for quickly and accurately recognizing a user.

The filing provides a simple way for multiple users to share a single device, like an iPad. Each user could customize their personal profile with unique wallpaper, applications and settings, and that profile would be immediately accessed once the iPad recognizes a user's face.

Apple's application notes that robust facial recognition systems that work in various lighting conditions and orientations can be taxing on an electronic device, requiring resources and draining battery life.

Its solution would reduce the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions on an image. The filing describes a "low-computation solution for reasonably effective (low threshold) face recognition that can be implemented on camera-equipped consumer portable appliances."

Rather than aggressively analyzing a user's entire face and using up time and resources, Apple's concept would rely on a "high information portion" of a human face. Potential high information portions could include eyes, a mouth, or the tip of a user's nose.

By recognizing the individual features on a user's face, the system could scale the distance between someone's eyes and their mouth. That distance could then be measured against the reference image originally captured by the user in order to confirm it is in fact the same person.



Apple's application notes that its facial recognition capabilities could be constantly active due to lower power consumption. This means a user could simply point an iPhone or iPad at their face, without pressing a button, and have the screen automatically turn on and unlock the device.

This could be accomplished through an "orange-distance filter," which would capture the "likely presence" of a human face in front of a camera. This filter would also be used to detect a person's skin tone, and measure the distance of their face from the camera.

Once a user has been recognized, the facial recognition technology could not only grant them access to the device, but also customize its settings based on a unique user profile. Each user would be presented with a personalized configuration, as an iPhone or iPad would be able to "modify screen saver slide shows or other appliance non-security preferences," the application reads.



The proposed invention, made public this week, was first filed by Apple in June of 2009. It is credited to Robert Mikio Free.

Apple was rumored in September of 2010 to have acquired a Swedish facial recognition company, Polar Rose, for $29 million. One of the company's products, Recognizr, could take a photo of a user and recognize that same person when shown on video.

Reports have indicated that Apple has long shown interest in having its devices identify users with facial recognition technology and customize a device based on their personal preferences. 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.

Apple reportedly experimented with the ability to customize the device, and have it automatically switch to a user's personal settings once they picked it up. One early feature included virtual "sticky notes" that one user could leave for another, and would be read the next time they picked up the iPad.
post #2 of 58
Quote:
By recognizing the individual features on a user's face, the system could scale the distance between someone's eyes and their mouth. That distance could then be measured against the reference image originally captured by the user in order to confirm it is in fact the same person.

Okay, before we get buried under an avalanche of Ice Cream Sandwiches, can someone tell me how (or IF) this is different from that gimmick in Android and how this implementation wouldn't also be a pointless gimmick?

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #3 of 58
too bad for Apple competitors : another possible unlock mechanism patent protected ...
post #4 of 58
And how is this useful since you can only have one "user" on an iPhone?
post #5 of 58
I can imagine Siri saying .. "Either that isn't you Mike or you look terrible this morning!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #6 of 58
this is so weird, I was literally just doing a search for multiuser iPad !! Its the one missing feature that is stopping me get one
post #7 of 58
Is it because I only read AppleInsider and similar sites. Or do other phone manufacturers actually care about 'Patent' actual good ideas to put on their phones?
I know that in Samsung and HTC 's case they just copy.
But is there anybody else innovating?
post #8 of 58
i think "the cloud" needs to be a bit more accessible such that when i start storing all my personally identifiable information in it, biometrics included, the information is accessible by any corporate entity. just wanting to do my part.
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #9 of 58
Why not voice recognition (building on existing technologies)? Using face recognition is flawed from a security point of view, just hold a picture in front of the camera.
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinneal View Post

this is so weird, I was literally just doing a search for multiuser iPad !! Its the one missing feature that is stopping me get one

Multiple user is already available on Microsoft Tablets - maybe that is an option for you.

Oh, so apple have been beaten to multiple users, beaten to facial recognition of user, but they think they are entitled to a patent of facial recognition for multiple users. The innovation is amazing. No-one else would have ever thought about this.
post #11 of 58
What about using a thumb print as you pick it up ? since there is a camera how about a retina scan, voice reco....Lots of different options here. Let the user pick how they want it unlocked. Self destruct mode would be awesome when you are ready to ask the wife for a new one cuz that one is broken

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Multiple user is already available on Microsoft Tablets - maybe that is an option for you.

Oh, so apple have been beaten to multiple users, beaten to facial recognition of user, but they think they are entitled to a patent of facial recognition for multiple users. The innovation is amazing. No-one else would have ever thought about this.

It's not so much WHAT they're doing but the WAY they're doing it. That's what patents are all about.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

It's not so much WHAT they're doing but the WAY they're doing it. That's what patents are all about.

Yeah you patent mechanisms and techniques not results
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

Is it because I only read AppleInsider and similar sites. Or do other phone manufacturers actually care about 'Patent' actual good ideas to put on their phones?
I know that in Samsung and HTC 's case they just copy.
But is there anybody else innovating?

They copy what now? Maybe you do need to get out of AI once in a while. Samsung Electronics has consistently been ranked second after IBM for the most patents granted. Is that not innovation?
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Using a forward-facing camera to recognize an individual user, future iPhones and iPads from Apple could automatically customize applications, settings and features to a user's personal preferences once they pick up the device.


I'm not certain that when I'm looking at an iPad that I want the iPad looking back at me.

Too much like Big Brother. I hope that this "feature" will have a secure kill mode.
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, before we get buried under an avalanche of Ice Cream Sandwiches, can someone tell me how (or IF) this is different from that gimmick in Android and how this implementation wouldn't also be a pointless gimmick?

first thing I noticed was that this said "non security" unlike Ice Cream which seems to be going full on for all preferences including security

As for the gimmick thing, of course it is. Heck Apple might not ever implement it. Why cut into sales by making their devices multiuser, right? But the way that Ice Cream is doing it is apparently not so great. Apple figures out a better way, patents it and then Android would be stuck having to license it from Apple if they want to use that improved way of doing the whole trick. tad devious but it's a stunt Apple has pulled before as have other companies.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #17 of 58
It's about time.

I don't care if it's implemented by facial recognition, voice or login screen, I just want multiple users on the iPad ASAP.

Especially on a device like the iPad that is often shared. Pick it up and get YOUR Mail, YOUR iCal, YOUR music, YOUR bookmarks in Safari, etc.

Even if I had an iPad for every family member I wouldn't want everyone to have to carry their iPad around the house. Pick up the iPad in the family room or kitchen and get YOUR info.

I know memory is one of the holdups, but I'd buy the larger capacity for the ability to have multiple users on an iPad like I have on my 27" iMac.

Wouldn't be as useful on an iPhone or iPod Touch, but definitely on the iPad.
post #18 of 58
If I were a DHS or DOD warrantless surveillance jerk, I would certainly be intrigued by this Apple technology. Which they would share with feds, presumably.
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Why cut into sales by making their devices multiuser, right?

I really don't think it will hurt sales. If anything customers will buy the more profitable 64GB (hopefully 128GB with iPad 3) versions.

For me it's all about convenience and privacy. When you have young kids, you want to monitor what they can access (parental controls), protect your data from being accidentally deleted, etc.

Desktops, laptops and iPads are often shared. Being able to login and get the device how you left it is paramount!

It's the one missing feature I asked for when the first iPad launched and the one I'm still eagerly waiting for. Much better than workarounds like using webmail.
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, before we get buried under an avalanche of Ice Cream Sandwiches, can someone tell me how (or IF) this is different from that gimmick in Android and how this implementation wouldn't also be a pointless gimmick?

Wasn't the Android gimmick fooled by a picture?

Not great security if It can't tell the difference between a real person and a picture|
post #21 of 58
There are a finite set of elements that are used to determine facial recognition. The more powerful the processing system, the more variables it can use to determine a facial match as a part of a "security" system. It's not really a security feature* - a point I will touch on further down. Facial recognition depends on certain "geographies" and "geometries" of the face, as well as the resolution and depth of field of the camera used to measure those elements. Among the geographic and geometric elements looked at are is the object in the camera actually a "face", the distance between the eyes, midpoint between eyes, realtional measurements between eyes, nose, cheekbones, mouth, or in greater detail, skin textures, etc. Geometric elements include the solid object Euler angles, and overall head shape. Reference photos are used to composite a reference frame for comparison purposes. Deeper analysis for recognition involves processor demanding multi-variate analysis.

Stationary security device applications currently are trying out a 3D approach which would defeat the use of 2D picture representations that can be used to fool traditional recognition systems. However the more data points required for comparison the more processor intensive and slower the results.

For example, Google's Picasa and Apple's iPhoto both use a fairly robust set of facial recognition algorithms. ICS used a more basic approach which relies on a small composite set coupled with simple algorithms measuring the eye distance, midpoint and Euler angles to resolve recognition. The downside to the less intensive approach was demonstrated when it was introduced - where low-lighting caused the recognition to fail, and subsequent demonstrations of photos being used to fool the system.

For facial recognition to "work" reliably on a mobile device, there is a necessary balance between detail processing and accurate confirmation. This means that a better camera should be used to capture detail, multiple cameras to capture 3D. Deeper eigen-style analysis maybe still too much processing for mobile devices, which means that facial recognition is not a recommended security method for locking/unlocking your device.

Google and Apple both have several different approaches they are using, and will patent anything they see as singularly important to use for various projects.

* As far as security is concerned for a mobile device, facial recognition is actually more of a "convenience" feature rather than a security feature - at least for now.
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post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

If I were a DHS or DOD warrantless surveillance jerk, I would certainly be intrigued by this Apple technology. Which they would share with feds, presumably.

... the DOD/DHS "jerks" are far beyond this already, so Apple "sharing" this with them is a rather silly idea. They can do facial recognition from satellite already. I wouldn't be surprised if they have already implemented some form of advanced mobile device facial recognition as a part of advanced augmented reality functions. You are a day late and a dollar short my friend.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea9999 View Post

Wasn't the Android gimmick fooled by a picture?

Not great security if It can't tell the difference between a real person and a picture|

From experience, if you have a beard, the ICS gimmick only works about 1 in 10 times.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Multiple user is already available on Microsoft Tablets - maybe that is an option for you.

Oh, so apple have been beaten to multiple users, beaten to facial recognition of user, but they think they are entitled to a patent of facial recognition for multiple users. The innovation is amazing. No-one else would have ever thought about this.

This is why you get ignored most of the time! Those Micorsoft tabbies you are gloating over - those wouldn't be the massively overweight frankenstein lappies would they? Or are your referring to the currently non-existent Windows 8 slates/tablets that are magical levitating, unicorn-friendly fantasyware? Of course, having not read for comprehension of the article, you utterly failed to capture that fact that this is a patent for a specific implementation of an element of facial recognition. You apparently are largely ignorant of the immense amount of work already done and patented in the field of facial recognition for security. Which would explain the unmitigated snark detracting from the overall commentary. First to market is not always best in the market, but that concept seems lost on you as well.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, before we get buried under an avalanche of Ice Cream Sandwiches, can someone tell me how (or IF) this is different from that gimmick in Android and how this implementation wouldn't also be a pointless gimmick?

Yeah there is nothing secure about this when a photo could do the same thing.

I want security that requires me to be alive to use. This means no thumb print, retinal scan, rectal scan or voice recognition.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Yeah there is nothing secure about this when a photo could do the same thing.

I want security that requires me to be alive to use. This means no thumb print, retinal scan, rectal scan or voice recognition.

I believe I recall Google blogging that Facial Recognition Unlock was not intended as a security feature but as simply a convenience at this point. Now with that said, there's vastly improved 3D smartphone technology (reportedly) coming up in the first quarter of next year that may lend itself to a "secure" log-in feature using facial recognition.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #27 of 58
i don't care about wiz bang face recognition. just stop being greedy and put a friggin user switching option on the ipad when you double tap the home button
EXCLAMATION POINT
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I believe I recall Google blogging that Facial Recognition Unlock was not intended as a security feature but as simply a convenience at this point. Now with that said, there's vastly improved 3D smartphone technology (reportedly) coming up in the first quarter of next year that may lend itself to a "secure" log-in feature using facial recognition.

That moves the bar from using a 2D image to a 3D image. That's better, but it's still not secure. What about a twin or a family that looks very similar. Chances are it would allow them access.

That all the things I mentioned can be had by looking at the person or using them while they are unconscious (e.g: thumb print). The only good way to secure your system is to use a unique password that no one else knows about.


PS: Use 1Password to make all your passwords unique for all the sites you access. Even if you trust a site you may not be able to trust an employee or simply poor security that gets your info stolen so it's best to keep it unique from all the others. Also, never use your real birthday, Mother's maiden name, etc.

On top of that I have created a standard user on my MBP that has password but can run many apps and get on the web. It's meant to be used by a thief, not a guest. I have found scripts that will send me an email if this is accessed and will run in the background grabbing location data, logging keystrokes and taking snapshots that are then sent to me periodically just incase my machine is stolen.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i don't care about wiz bang face recognition. just stop being greedy and put a friggin user switching option on the ipad when you double tap the home button
EXCLAMATION POINT

Why, when you can just be sold another iPad?

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, before we get buried under an avalanche of Ice Cream Sandwiches, can someone tell me how (or IF) this is different from that gimmick in Android and how this implementation wouldn't also be a pointless gimmick?

Because it will be implemented by Apple and so people here will proclaim it as an amazing new feature regardless of whether it does the exact same thing as Android. And they'll also ret-con history so that Google stole the concept from Apple in the first place.
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Because it will be implemented by Apple and so people here will proclaim it as an amazing new feature regardless of whether it does the exact same thing as Android. And they'll also ret-con history so that Google stole the concept from Apple in the first place.

Careful, now. \

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why, when you can just be sold another iPad?

THAT's the problem. i have two iPads, but i have to go get MINE from the living room if i want to check my email instead of my wife's from the nightstand, and she doesn't have nearly as many games as i do. i don't want to sit in bed and peruse epicurious in the morning, i want to play dead space.

[yes it's easy to get off my ass and get my ipad, but it's also not difficult - just greedy - that apple doesn't have multiple user accounts on iOS devices]
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

But the way that Ice Cream is doing it is apparently not so great. Apple figures out a better way, patents it and then Android would be stuck having to license it from Apple if they want to use that improved way of doing the whole trick. tad devious but it's a stunt Apple has pulled before as have other companies.

Can you show me a patent that is NOT based on previous technology?

Well - we have the transistor, and original Xerox photocopy process - but even these used research from others.

The USPTO gives patents only to applications that it believes to be original. So if Apple has a patent then it is most likely for some original contribution. Yes - this is precisely their M.O. - find any easier, better way to do things, continually improve on what has come before. If you do not like this, may I suggest that you go back to using DOS?
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

There are a finite set of elements ...

Well said! Thanks for the explanation.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


On top of that I have created a standard user on my MBP that has password but can run many apps and get on the web. It's meant to be used by a thief, not a guest. I have found scripts that will send me an email if this is accessed and will run in the background grabbing location data, logging keystrokes and taking snapshots that are then sent to me periodically just incase my machine is stolen.

Can you elaborate on these scripts? Where have you found them?
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Can you elaborate on these scripts? Where have you found them?

I wish I could. Most were fond on the internet and then I had a friend tweak them for my machine with the info going to a dummy email account that autoforwards to my email account. I'll see if I can some info but these are not generic scripts I can give out unless he's gone and made them that way.

Things I do know: There are a couple LaunchDaemons. One will send an email immediately. Another will start some recording of the display and/or key strokes. Another will copy any changes to the system like Safari history or writing a letter. And there is some app (I think pulled from a Widget) that will get the location of your WiFi in intervals.

I really need to get this information writing down but I wonder if it's just easier to use an app like Hidden or Orbicle.


PS: I lost my iPad 2 a couple months back. No idea where it could have gone. Since it's not 3G, lock it with a PIN, and don't have WiFi out-connecting there was very little chance of Find My iPad working. I sent the erase command but it's likely been wiped. If Apple allowed for a Guest user access that could not access my account but do some simple stuff it's possible the thief wouldn't have wiped it right away. I hope Guest account makes it to the next version of iOS for many reasons.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #37 of 58
Now Apple needs to quickly extend this patent to point-of-sale terminals, in-vehicle personalization and "in-front of TV" channel customization.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Because it will be implemented by Apple and so people here will proclaim it as an amazing new feature regardless of whether it does the exact same thing as Android. And they'll also ret-con history so that Google stole the concept from Apple in the first place.

You probably did not mean it but you sound like a fan girl.

It seems that we have a ton of people today who can not read and understand the implications of Apple's patent.

Bottom line summary
Apple has blindsided the industry with an amazing advancement in facial recognition and they have PATENTED IT!

Samsung Android Galaxy Nexus - security easily fooled by a photograph.

Apple includes a built-in feature that judges a person’s level of attentiveness when using the device, that should eliminate that trick. It wouldn't do to kill the individual to access his device because I have yet to see an attentive dead person, even after watching a Weekend at Bernies.


Do you want a toy or a real tool?

Samsung Android Galaxy Nexus - typical poor Android quality. Frequently the concept fails so it is just a play toy, a gimmick not a real life tool you can depend on

Apple’s patented new method would use shortcuts to accurately determine who’s using a device making it fast and accurate with little effort and they can prevent all others from copying the idea like they can with MagSafe, which is only found on Apple Mac laptops. No PC can ever have anything like MagSafe it is proprietary technology patented by Apple.

Apple’s patented new method would allow a business or family to have multiple secure user accounts based on facial recognition. Tablets can become multiuser with the iPad or Mac remembering what you were doing last and taking you there as soon as it recognized you.

The future iPhone, iPad, and Mac will be more advanced than that old PC used before we entered the mobile era.

Remember this:
This is another clear example of every body focused on where the puck is today and they aren't giving any thought to where it is going to be next.

In my opinion, Siri and reliable facial recognition are going to have a big impact on Apple's future growth and their desirability as a maker of useful devices for normal people.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4phun View Post

No PC can ever have anything like MagSafe it is proprietary technology patented by Apple.

And from a consumer viewpoint, where do you see the advantage to one company having a patent on usefull features and not allowing other companies to have something similar ?

As a stock holder,which I'm not I totally understand the advantage, not as a consumer.
post #40 of 58
Rather than being fooled by a "cold" photograph, perhaps besides facial features being registered, heat (within a certain temperature range) from the users face could be read to avoid the flat, cold photo trick.

Serious breachers would no doubt find a way around this but for the casual would-be-user, it may be enough of a barrier.

Not accounting for cold, winter skin or fevered faces of course :-)
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