Apple denies iPhone X failed in onstage demo, says Face ID feature worked as intended

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
Responding to media outlets and critics eager to report that iPhone X's tentpole Face ID feature failed during Tuesday's keynote presentation, Apple on Wednesday issued a statement saying the handset, and more importantly the biometric feature, worked as intended.




During Apple's iPhone X unveiling on Tuesday, executive Craig Federighi at the start of a live demonstration was forced to move to a backup model after a first unit seemingly failed to unlock as planned. Media glommed onto the story, in some cases touting the mishap as proof of Face ID's first -- spectacular -- failure.

Seen in the video below, Federighi picks up iPhone X and attempts to unlock it with Face ID, a process that requires the user to look at the TrueDepth camera and swipe up on the screen. When a first try fails, he puts the device to sleep and goes through the process again. That second attempt was also unsuccessful.

On iPhone's display a prompt showed up, saying, "Your passcode is required to enable Face ID." The alert sparked speculation that Face ID had failed.





In a statement to Yahoo's David Pogue, Apple maintains the demo iPhone X was functional and Face ID did its job. It seems the iPhone in question attempted to authenticate one or more employees tasked to set up the demo area prior to the big reveal. When it failed to recognize their face or faces, it defaulted to passcode, as per Apple's security protocol.
Tonight, I was able to contact Apple. After examining the logs of the demo iPhone X, they now know exactly what went down. Turns out my first theory in this story was wrong-- but my first UPDATE theory above was correct: "People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time," says a rep, "and didn't realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren't Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode." In other words, "Face ID worked as it was designed to."
To protect against spoofing and hardware hacks, Apple's biometric systems are automatically disabled after a predetermined number of unsuccessful attempts. Touch ID, for example, gives users five attempts to authenticate with their finger before requiring a passcode. Apple documentation shows Face ID allows only two tries before being disabled.

How the second device made it onstage without attempting to authenticate random Apple employees is unknown.

Apple is known for its highly polished product demonstrations, having transformed the traditionally dry onstage presentations into a type of art form. Under late cofounder Steve Jobs, product unveilings evolved into hotly anticipated spectacle. Indeed, Jobs' own keynote presentations became known as "Jobsnotes."

Apple keynote presenters rehearse each scripted segment, prepare minute details and, as seen in Federighi's demo, plan for potential hiccups.
songern
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,617member
    Makes sense. 

    A meme has developed though.....
    RacerhomieXsandorlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 82
    Well, as for the keynote presenters, I think Phil and Eddy should not return. They read from the TelePrompTer as if they’ve never seen the text before ... it’s been this way for a few Keynotes now. Phil in particular also looked bored when describing the iPhone 8 ... you could tell he just wanted to discuss the iPhone X. I’m not saying they are bad execs ... but neither convey enthusiasm. Clearly Craig, is the man for these events ... you can tell he lives and breathes Apple, and deeply understands what he’s talking about.

    As for the Face ID fail ... that note on the screen was obvious at the time (I.e. PassCode required ..), I just assumed the phone had been rebooted (that’s when I usually see that message) ... in any case, people reporting it as a Fail are simply looking for something to criticise. The X is gorgeous! Will be pre-ordering as soon as my carrier lets me!
    minicoffeeRacerhomieXpbone15lollivercaliradarthekatGG1anantksundaramSoundJudgmentflyingdp
  • Reply 3 of 82
    entropys said:
    Makes sense. 

    A meme has developed though.....
    the proof will be in the pudding, that is when end users start using it to unlock.  total nothing burger, in my opinion.

    lots of nerves present during these big reveals, maybe the front camera rejected Craig's face due to his nervousness?  haha
    RacerhomieXanton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 82
    That thought crossed my mind too, but when an iPhone is rebooted it won't connect to Wi-Fi automatically and the iPhone X on stage was already connected to Wi-Fi.
    As for the Face ID fail ... that note on the screen was obvious at the time (I.e. PassCode required ..), I just assumed the phone had been rebooted (that’s when I usually see that message) 

    wreighvenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 82
    The phone didn't crash (that would be the real fail) and a passcode was asked. Actually showing that the system is secure in case it might not work.
    Naysayers have no clue of how complex the tech is to make FaceID work the way it does and it is brand new tech. It is an amazing feat that Apple is bringing it to the market, and it is not some laughable tech (e.g. Samsung's) that can be fooled by a printed version of your face...
    Let's move on please.

    PS: I am more concerned about the fact that an authority or criminal can simply open your phone showing the device to you.
    With Touch ID they need to physically force you to put your finger. (or have the finger itself detached from your body).
    I think FaceID is the current solution for taking away the TouchID sensor from the front, avoiding putting it to the back (which is an ergonomic nightmare).
    The real secure version, will be TouchID integrated in the screen. Tech that clearly is not ready for prime time.
    Which also might explain why the iPhone 8 has the same A11 chip as the X, although it is not required to do any FaceID stuff (not considering the extra hardware required to do so).
    Which means that A11 has a much bigger role in the iPhone and future of Apple (a bit like introducing 64 bits a while ago) than FaceID itself, that we can foresee now (e.g. what will iOS12 bring to actually exploit A11 Neural engine, other than FaceID and pic taking features...).
    ajlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 82
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member
    btw: It’s common for the eyes to open and stay open when a person dies, if you happened to wonder whether Face ID would be more secure than Touch ID in such a situation. I’m sure many of you wondered. 😁
  • Reply 7 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    cpsro said:
    btw: It’s common for the eyes to open and stay open when a person dies, if you happened to wonder whether Face ID would be more secure than Touch ID in such a situation. I’m sure many of you wondered. 😁
    I have a feeling that the Hollywood mask scenario they've been testing against would defeat that. If your face is completely static, you're a 3D mask, in a deep sleep, or you're dead. 
    lollivercaliStrangeDaysjbdragonarlomediaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 82
    tekkyn00btekkyn00b Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I still think it failed. Here's why. If the phone had been rebooted it was already in the "requiring PIN mode", when he first turned on the screen it would've asked for the PIN, just like with Touch ID, and just like it did when he turned on the screen for the second attempt. It's likely that multiple people handling it ahead of time triggered the initial unlock attempts, but there was still one valid attempt left before requiring the PIN, and that was Craig's first attempt on the first phone. That first attempt DID NOT WORK, hence why when he tried a second time on the first phone, it required the PIN. 

    So it did fail to detect his face. 

    That being said, it's not THAT big of a deal. Touch ID fails for me a lot. At least one or two attempts out of every, I don't know, 100? I just lift and try again. 

    But the point is that Face ID did fail to identify Craig on that first attempt. Is it super horrible and damning? No, but it just also doesn't look good either. That is all. 
    edited September 2017 brucemcargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 82
    em_te said:
    That thought crossed my mind too, but when an iPhone is rebooted it won't connect to Wi-Fi automatically and the iPhone X on stage was already connected to Wi-Fi.
    As for the Face ID fail ... that note on the screen was obvious at the time (I.e. PassCode required ..), I just assumed the phone had been rebooted (that’s when I usually see that message) 

    just rebooted my 6S to test this and it's true, no wifi until I entered passcode. learn something new everyday :smile: 

  • Reply 10 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    pakitt said:
    The phone didn't crash (that would be the real fail) and a passcode was asked. Actually showing that the system is secure in case it might not work.
    Naysayers have no clue of how complex the tech is to make FaceID work the way it does and it is brand new tech. It is an amazing feat that Apple is bringing it to the market, and it is not some laughable tech (e.g. Samsung's) that can be fooled by a printed version of your face...
    Let's move on please.

    PS: I am more concerned about the fact that an authority or criminal can simply open your phone showing the device to you.
    With Touch ID they need to physically force you to put your finger. (or have the finger itself detached from your body).
    I think FaceID is the current solution for taking away the TouchID sensor from the front, avoiding putting it to the back (which is an ergonomic nightmare).
    The real secure version, will be TouchID integrated in the screen. Tech that clearly is not ready for prime time.
    Which also might explain why the iPhone 8 has the same A11 chip as the X, although it is not required to do any FaceID stuff (not considering the extra hardware required to do so).
    Which means that A11 has a much bigger role in the iPhone and future of Apple (a bit like introducing 64 bits a while ago) than FaceID itself, that we can foresee now (e.g. what will iOS12 bring to actually exploit A11 Neural engine, other than FaceID and pic taking features...).
    To begin with, TouchID will not work with a severed finger as it relies on the movement of blood flow to work. 

    Secondly, this tech is a lot harder than putting a reader under the screen, which a number of companies have already done. Given the amount of time taken, and the number of outfits Apple has  taken over, to put this together, I'm pretty sure that this is the final plan, and not the stop gap;  They bought Primesense in 2013, so I think this has been on the cards since then at least. And if TouchID-under-screen wasn't ready for primetime, then they could have just gone with TouchID as it was (on the front) or moved it to the power button on the side. (TouchID doesn't need your whole finger resting on the button to work, in much the same way that FaceID doesn't need to see your whole face).

    And bear in mind that the chances of someone have a face identical to yours is an order of magnitude lower than someone having the same fingerprint.

    On the whole forced recognition thing: that is actually going to cause much more of a PR problem for Apple than anything else. I still am not really convinced by this idea of a criminal running up to you, grabbing your phone, shouting out "OI!" so you look at your phone and then running off with your unlocked phone. I'm not really sure that's how cybercrime works.  If the authorities have you tied in your seat and are trying to unlock your phone, then close your eyes. They only get two shots before the phone locks with a passcode required. It's a lot easier for the authorities to force you to touch the phone than it is to get you to open your eyes and look at it. 

    I think Apple sold us a dummy. I think TouchID was the stop gap to get security and the enclave working properly, before they were ready to release the really tricky stuff: FaceID.

    fotoformatSoundJudgmentpscooter63StrangeDayslostkiwiargonaut
  • Reply 11 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    adm1 said:
    em_te said:
    That thought crossed my mind too, but when an iPhone is rebooted it won't connect to Wi-Fi automatically and the iPhone X on stage was already connected to Wi-Fi.
    As for the Face ID fail ... that note on the screen was obvious at the time (I.e. PassCode required ..), I just assumed the phone had been rebooted (that’s when I usually see that message) 

    just rebooted my 6S to test this and it's true, no wifi until I entered passcode. learn something new everyday :smile: 


    Mmm. I didn't know that.
  • Reply 12 of 82
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Face ID wasn't enabled. iKnockoff users are the most stupid people on the planet. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    tekkyn00b said:
    I still think it failed. Here's why. If the phone had been rebooted it was already in the "requiring PIN mode", when he first turned on the screen it would've asked for the PIN, just like with Touch ID, and just like it did when he turned on the screen for the second attempt. It's likely that multiple people handling it ahead of time triggered the initial unlock attempts, but there was still one valid attempt left before requiring the PIN, and that was Craig's first attempt on the first phone. That first attempt DID NOT WORK, hence why when he tried a second time on the first phone, it required the PIN. 

    So it did fail to detect his face. 

    That being said, it's not THAT big of a deal. Touch ID fails for me a lot. At least one or two attempts out of every, I don't know, 100? I just lift and try again. 

    But the point is that Face ID did fail to identify Craig on that first attempt. Is it super horrible and damning? No, but it just also doesn't look good either. That is all. 

    Not necessarily. The phone allows for two attempts only. If two people failed to authenticate, then Craig was already out of tries when he picked up the phone.

    FaceID works as designed, I'm just not so sure the design is right. 

    Does this mean that every time someone walks past and glances at the phone, it tries to recognise them? This is what I was talking about last week; I'm not happy with FaceID firing all the time; it needs to be triggered by a finger.



    edited September 2017 dws-2lostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 82
     ...Phil in particular also looked bored when describing the iPhone 8...
    There was definitely something wrong with Phil, personally my take on it was that he was still really really really pissed off at the GM leak ruining the delightful surprises. As for the face ID, it's annoying that before going on stage that Craig didn't check it first seeing as it is the tentpole feature and it is obvious that any tiny fail would be jumped upon. Maybe everyone was still so angry about the leak that they just let it get to them. Even Cook seemed a bit weirded out at the end when he announced the 'one more thing' knowing full well that the surprise factor was gone. In fact whether I imagined this or not I don't know but it felt like the audience didn't know whether to act surprised or not. That leak really annoyed them.

    Having said that, it's all going to be moot because it looks like awesome technology that's going to leave all others eating dust.
    dws-2lostkiwiargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 82
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Why not unlock the iPhone automatically when you wear an Apple Watch? As you can already do with the Macbook and MacBook Pro.


    >:x
    radarthekatlostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 82
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Compare this to Face ID:

    1. First you need to glance to your phone,
    2. Secondly, you need to swipe to enter the home screen.

    Compared to the Apple Watch flow we have with the Macbook, Face ID feels cumbersome. You need two different actions.

    >:x


  • Reply 17 of 82
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    entropys said:
    Makes sense. 

    A meme has developed though.....
    the proof will be in the pudding
    The phrase is: the proof of the pudding is in the eating
    peterhartRayz2016dws-2pscooter63beowulfschmidtleehammargonaut
  • Reply 18 of 82
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    I am not a fan of the Force Touch ID of the iPhone 7/8 either. It feels fabricated, not as satisfying as the click of a real physical button.

    My plea to Apple is to ignore both Face ID and Touch ID. Instead, have the Apple Watch as the primary unlock device. 

    And for those that do not own an Apple Watch, just have the pincode.


    NOTE: Of course you could always have Face ID in combination with the Apple Watch or the pincode if you really want to add another layer of security.


    >:x
  • Reply 19 of 82
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member

    tekkyn00b said:
    I still think it failed. Here's why. If the phone had been rebooted it was already in the "requiring PIN mode", when he first turned on the screen it would've asked for the PIN, just like with Touch ID, and just like it did when he turned on the screen for the second attempt. It's likely that multiple people handling it ahead of time triggered the initial unlock attempts, but there was still one valid attempt left before requiring the PIN, and that was Craig's first attempt on the first phone. That first attempt DID NOT WORK, hence why when he tried a second time on the first phone, it required the PIN. 

    So it did fail to detect his face. 

    That being said, it's not THAT big of a deal. Touch ID fails for me a lot. At least one or two attempts out of every, I don't know, 100? I just lift and try again. 

    But the point is that Face ID did fail to identify Craig on that first attempt. Is it super horrible and damning? No, but it just also doesn't look good either. That is all.  
    That it totally unfair. You don't have employees preparing your iPhone for an onstage demo. Trying touching ID and having it ask for passcode. Your Touch ID fails right out of your pocket. The assumption here is this would not.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 20 of 82
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,995moderator
    Well, as for the keynote presenters, I think Phil and Eddy should not return. They read from the TelePrompTer as if they’ve never seen the text before ... it’s been this way for a few Keynotes now. Phil in particular also looked bored when describing the iPhone 8 ... you could tell he just wanted to discuss the iPhone X. I’m not saying they are bad execs ... but neither convey enthusiasm. Clearly Craig, is the man for these events ... you can tell he lives and breathes Apple, and deeply understands what he’s talking about.

    As for the Face ID fail ... that note on the screen was obvious at the time (I.e. PassCode required ..), I just assumed the phone had been rebooted (that’s when I usually see that message) ... in any case, people reporting it as a Fail are simply looking for something to criticise. The X is gorgeous! Will be pre-ordering as soon as my carrier lets me!
    To me, Phil is smooth and never hiccups.  Tim wasn't quite up to his usual self this time around.  He's never what one would call a consummate presenter, but he's competent at hosting the others.  I suspect this year there has been a lot more going on at Apple with the new headquarters move-in coming up, and so Tim's time has probably been stretched a bit thin.  I'll bet he'll use this very busy period to make some staff additions in his own personal assistant staff.  Just to keep all the balls in the air.

    i agree about Craig.  He's aces!  Smooth, cool, and deeply knowledgeable.  He owns his realm.
    StrangeDaysbrucemclostkiwiargonautwatto_cobra
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