Apple has been 'all-in' on iPhone X Face ID replacing Touch ID for over a year - report

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
Apple has allegedly been planning for Face ID to be a full replacement for Touch ID for well over a year, a new report claims, refuting earlier claims by the supply chain that the removal of the fingerprint technology is a recent decision.




In a response to a Twitter user on Wednesday, Daring Fireball's John Gruber stated that Apple's Face ID has been in the works for some time, and has been considered a replacement candidate for Touch ID for "over a year."

None. My understanding is that Apple has been all-in on Face ID as the replacement for Touch ID for over a year now.

-- John Gruber (@gruber)


It is not clear where Gruber has obtained his information about Face ID -- but it is clear from the announcement event on Tuesday that Apple has been working on it for some time.

In a follow-up tweet, he specifically refuted rumors from this summer claiming Apple was still considering Touch ID for the iPhone X.

In addition, when those reports began claiming Apple was waiting until the last minute to decide whether or not the technology would be implemented, Gruber explicitly said that Apple had already finalized what sensors the device would have -- but also said that the lack of Touch ID "would be weird."

Apple's Face ID technology introduced in the iPhone X is made up of four components including an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a dot projector, and the front camera. The combination of sensors generates a 3D map of the face that it compares to the mathematical models of the stored face, utilizing the new A11 Bionic neural engine.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    FaceID and the related technology took probably a few more than one year to develop; it may be very well the contrary, that touchID was kept for a while as a backup while giving FaceID the last year or two of developement.
    *And* the technologies around FaceID allows a lot more than identification, so it is more a strategic move on a medium/long term plan.

    Maurizio
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 2 of 80
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,330member
    Gruber does know stuff, but it doesnt make sense really. If they could do both, if touchID worked on the screen then both together would be amazing. 
    superklotonbb-15
  • Reply 3 of 80
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,330member
    sog35 said:
    Ming Kuo once again proven to be a snake oil salesman.

    Sure he gets SOME things right.

    But he spews SO MANY THINGS that he is bound to get SOME things right.

    FaceID was always a possibility, even earlier than last year.  With the iPhone 7+ dual camera's with depth perceptions, FaceID was the next logical step.

    But like ALWAYS Ming Kuo always tries to paint Apple as incompetent and always facing supply issues.


    I stand by my word years ago:  Apple should hire a security team and visit Kuo at his home and office.  Nothing illegal or criminal.  But just let Kuo 'feel' Apple's presence.
    I am no expert on this but I think that might be a marketing fail for the company, particularly if he takes a picture of Apple heavies outside his office. 
    edited September 2017 gatorguy
  • Reply 4 of 80

    It is not clear where Gruber has obtained his information about Face ID
    Read again the tweet: he says "my understanding is that..". There is no information obtained or whatsoever, just divination.
    gatorguylolliver
  • Reply 5 of 80
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,946member
    Maurizio said:
    FaceID and the related technology took probably a few more than one year to develop; it may be very well the contrary, that touchID was kept for a while as a backup while giving FaceID the last year or two of developement.
    *And* the technologies around FaceID allows a lot more than identification, so it is more a strategic move on a medium/long term plan.

    Maurizio
    Of course it took more than a year develop. That's exactly what the author of the report said. He also claims that a year ago was when Apple decided that they could go all-in with Face ID and not look at other options.
    StrangeDays2old4funlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 80
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Gruber is just trying to help them save face. He knows as well as everyone else that they intended for TouchID to be there. They filed patents. They bough LuxView, they bought up patents from Privaris. All to do scanner under the display. He might be right that it never comes back now, because they never want to admit a mistake so publicly. 

    But if you look at how clumsy the gestures are to compensate for removing the home button altogether (instead of adding a virtual button) and these are gestures that have been used and extended for entirely different purposes for years and recently and how clumsy the demo was and think about use cases, then it is pretty apparent, if one is being honest, that this was a concession. 
    holyoneentropys
  • Reply 7 of 80

    It is not clear where Gruber has obtained his information about Face ID
    Read again the tweet: he says "my understanding is that..". There is no information obtained or whatsoever, just divination.
    No, that's the type of phrase you use when you've heard tidbits of information form different people and your gut feeling is your understanding on the topic.  You wouldn't use "understand" if you're making it up without some kind of input.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 80
    What replacement? You don't have to be Gruber to know that Apple has already released the MBP w/ Touch Bar with FaceTime camera attached to the T1 chip driving the Touch ID, two years ago. If Apple's intention was a replacement why it has released Touch ID on MBP? Why it has released a brand new iPhone series as 8 with Touch ID? Touch ID is not going anywhere from this year to next. The future of Face ID and Touch ID is multi biometrics, as revealed by strings discovered in the code.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 9 of 80
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    Does that mean eventually it will be ALL FaceID ? Because I dont see iPhone X getting to iPhone 8 Price Point next year. Or would Apple continue to keep Touch ID.

    Also FaceID seems like perfect for Mac and Macbook. I wonder when will those come.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 80
    Just because it was under development for over a year doesn't mean it was the plan all along. They might have been working for under screen TouchID alongside FaceID, just in case TouchID wouldn't be able to be placed under the screen.

    John Gruber might as well be Apple PR, he's just going to say whatever it takes to make Apple save face.
  • Reply 11 of 80
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,193member
    asdasd said:
    Gruber does know stuff, but it doesnt make sense really. If they could do both, if touchID worked on the screen then both together would be amazing. 
    Maybe, but Apple isn't known to throw in technology that has a redundant functionality, or to hedge their bets, or to over-engineer something by including components that a majority of people may not use. They believe into pushing the consumer to adopt something with confidence, by going all in. This has been crystal clear through all their product lines. It's like saying Apple "could have" included USB-A on their new MBPs to ease the transition, they "could have" kept the headphone jack, etc. Sure they could have. But they chose not to, which they believe is in the best long term interests of themselves, the product, and consumers. Samsung includes both a fingerprint sensor and a face scanner in their phones, because they know the face scanning is trash.
    edited September 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 80
    sog35 said:

    I stand by my word years ago:  Apple should hire a security team and visit Kuo at his home and office.  Nothing illegal or criminal.  But just let Kuo 'feel' Apple's presence.
    Yes because threatening a free citizen would be great PR for Apple. Uh huh. Don’t quit your day job, unless that job involves the public. 
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 13 of 80
    sog35 said:
    Ming Kuo once again proven to be a snake oil salesman.

    Sure he gets SOME things right.

    But he spews SO MANY THINGS that he is bound to get SOME things right.

    FaceID was always a possibility, even earlier than last year.  With the iPhone 7+ dual camera's with depth perceptions, FaceID was the next logical step.

    But like ALWAYS Ming Kuo always tries to paint Apple as incompetent and always facing supply issues.


    I stand by my word years ago:  Apple should hire a security team and visit Kuo at his home and office.  Nothing illegal or criminal.  But just let Kuo 'feel' Apple's presence.
    He got most things right. For all you know TouchID under the screen was the original plan but in case they couldn't get it completed in time were developing an alternate solution. 

    Also you're actually trying to say that Apple sends out people to intimidate him? That's ridiculous.
  • Reply 14 of 80
    Did Apple have enough time to deploy a (software) patch for its Secure Enclave in the new A11 Bionic chip used on the new iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, handling the security/privacy of Face ID and Touch ID, after xerub published the Secure Enclave firmware decryption key in mid August? Or maybe a hardware patch is necessary, so everybody will have to wait for forthcoming updated versions of the A11 and A10 deploying such patches?
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 15 of 80
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    tulkas said:
    Gruber is just trying to help them save face. He knows as well as everyone else that they intended for TouchID to be there. They filed patents. They bough LuxView, they bought up patents from Privaris. All to do scanner under the display. He might be right that it never comes back now, because they never want to admit a mistake so publicly. 

    But if you look at how clumsy the gestures are to compensate for removing the home button altogether (instead of adding a virtual button) and these are gestures that have been used and extended for entirely different purposes for years and recently and how clumsy the demo was and think about use cases, then it is pretty apparent, if one is being honest, that this was a concession. 

    "Save face"

    That's laughable. Apple doesn't need to save face - they never publicly declared they were going that direction. They've mentioned time and time again how much they do that they end up saying no and shelving it. It could very well be that they DID get Touch ID working under the screen but decided not to use it, because they thought Face ID would be a better system especially with the advancement of AR over the passed few years.

    Furthermore, patenting something does not mean it will ever become a product. Apple has many patents relating to embedding different sensors into displays and rarely do any see the light of day - embedding a camera and speaker, etc. And buying a specific company does not always mean they want it for a specific product or technology. Sometimes they really want the talent - P.A. Semi was a company that designed PowerPC CPU's... Apple bought them for the talent to develop their Ax series of SoCs.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 80
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    asdasd said:
    Gruber does know stuff, but it doesnt make sense really. If they could do both, if touchID worked on the screen then both together would be amazing. 
    If they had done that they there is a good chance no one would use FaceID.

    From a workflow and efficiency of movement FaceID is inferior to TouchID, but it has more cool factor. Having to pick up and look at your phone will always be more than just picking it up..or just touching it.
  • Reply 17 of 80
    My take is that FaceID probably came out of the efforts of the iPhone camera team and the iPhoto/Photos teams.  They've been working for years on specific technology to make pictures better by concentrating on faces by way of their image processing algorithms.  Through their research, they figured that with the right sensors, they could get even better pattern matching and have the raw processing and machine learning power to put it into silicon.

    Which gets back to one of the reflexive criticisms of this tech from the Android crowd, namely that this tech already existed in other phones.  Actually, what they were doing was very similar to the facial recognition done in iPhoto/Photos for many years.  Using infrared, depth camera and a whole bunch of other machine learning tech is a big leap which makes using this as a secure ID a very big deal.  Honestly the only one of Apple's competitors that has the ability to even try to duplicate this is Samsung and they will have to work a while to get the silicon piece of the puzzle down.
    longpath
  • Reply 18 of 80
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    mjtomlin said:
    tulkas said:
    Gruber is just trying to help them save face. He knows as well as everyone else that they intended for TouchID to be there. They filed patents. They bough LuxView, they bought up patents from Privaris. All to do scanner under the display. He might be right that it never comes back now, because they never want to admit a mistake so publicly. 

    But if you look at how clumsy the gestures are to compensate for removing the home button altogether (instead of adding a virtual button) and these are gestures that have been used and extended for entirely different purposes for years and recently and how clumsy the demo was and think about use cases, then it is pretty apparent, if one is being honest, that this was a concession. 

    "Save face"

    That's laughable. Apple doesn't need to save face - they never publicly declared they were going that direction. They've mentioned time and time again how much they do that they end up saying no and shelving it. It could very well be that they DID get Touch ID working under the screen but decided not to use it, because they thought Face ID would be a better system especially with the advancement of AR over the passed few years.

    Furthermore, patenting something does not mean it will ever become a product. Apple has many patents relating to embedding different sensors into displays and rarely do any see the light of day - embedding a camera and speaker, etc. And buying a specific company does not always mean they want it for a specific product or technology. Sometimes they really want the talent - P.A. Semi was a company that designed PowerPC CPU's... Apple bought them for the talent to develop their Ax series of SoCs.
    Yes, save face. Even if he is right and they decided to go with an inferior authentication flow over a year ago, he is just doing damage control. i.e. helping them save face. That is his job, after all.

    And I can believe they would make that decision. I think they had every intention of having TouchID in the glass. But I also think that either they couldn't get it working as well as the Home Button implementation or they realized no one would use FaceID if TouchID was an option...or both. But now that they have gone with just FaceID, there is little chance of going back and adding TouchID in glass. That would be acknowledging a mistake. So, that's where their army of damage control "writers" comes in. Grub leads the pack.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,330member
    slurpy said:
    asdasd said:
    Gruber does know stuff, but it doesnt make sense really. If they could do both, if touchID worked on the screen then both together would be amazing. 
    Maybe, but Apple isn't known to throw in technology that has a redundant functionality, or to hedge their bets, or to over-engineer something by including components that a majority of people may not use. They believe into pushing the consumer to adopt something with confidence, by going all in. This has been crystal clear through all their product lines. It's like saying Apple "could have" included USB-A on their new MBPs to ease the transition, they "could have" kept the headphone jack, etc. Sure they could have. But they chose not to, which they believe is in the best long term interests of themselves, the product, and consumers. Samsung includes both a fingerprint sensor and a face scanner in their phones, because they know the face scanning is trash.
    Or they couldnt technically. There were reports of some attempts to put it on the back as well of course. And apparantly that failed, hence the delay. 
  • Reply 20 of 80
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,189member
    FaceID with all that it requires and I'm going to assume limited quantity in parts, plus higher cost currently I would assume is why Apple has limited it to only the iPhone X, and hasn't put it into a Macbook. TouchID works now. Apple can get it in the numbers they need and so that is what's mostly being used. I think it's days are numbered. The whole TouchID in the screen was a RUMOR. It wasn't a FACT!!! Lots of RUMORS go out there and most are completely wrong. Apple is not going to have both FaceTD and TouchID in the screen. It also takes time to design a phone and the parts going into it. It doesn't happen in 6 months. I don't think TouchID in the screen was ever the plan. FaceID is far more secure then TouchID. No more kids holding a phone to your finger while you sleep. Holding the phone to your face is not going to work when your eye's are closed when sleeping. Designing the display, and all that went into it with True Tone and 3D touch on a new OLED display. I just can't picture then trying to cram TouchID into it also when there really was no need for it.
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