Gripping buttons on both sides of iPhone X disables Face ID, recognition works with most s...

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Apple software chief Craig Federighi has revealed that Face ID unlock on the new iPhone X will come with a hidden security feature, allowing users to press buttons on both sides of the phone to temporarily disable the facial recognition capabilities.




Keith Krimbel emailed Federighi this week, and received a response which he share on Twitter. Krimbel asked what measures Apple was taking to ensure a thief cannot take a user's iPhone X, point it at their face and then run away with the device unlocked.

"There are two mitigations: if you don't stare at the phone, it won't unlock," Federighi said. "Also, if you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when you hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID."

Krimbel also asked if Face ID will work with sunglasses, and Federighi explained that "most" but not all will not interfere with the biometric unlock mechanism.

"Most sunglasses let through enough IR light that Face ID can see your eyes even when the glasses appear to be opaque," he explained. "It's really amazing!"




The response from the Apple executive also included mention of the onstage error where Face ID did not work as expected. Apple has already explained that the feature actually worked as expected: The iPhone X prompted Federighi for a password because it had accidentally being prompted to unlock other, unauthorized faces before the device was put onstage.

"For those of us who have been living on the... iPhone X over the last months this has never been a real problem (hence my shock when it happened to me on stage! :-)," Federighi wrote.

Other tidbits about Face ID on the iPhone X continue to trickle out, including the fact that the technology will be limited to one face per device at launch. It was also revealed that Apple has been planning for Face ID to replace Touch ID entirely for over a year now, dispelling rumors that the company was trying to embed Touch ID into the iPhone X display as recently as this summer.

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 37
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    Seems like a reckless move ... if the thief knows enough about what he's stealing to point it at your face, I think doing anything to thwart their ability to unlock your phone is bad advice.

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.

    But most of these are the usual silly questions. If someone holds you up and wants your phone unlocked, then they're going to get that to happen regardless of these features. Best just to hand it over unlocked. For the typical thief, this isn't going to be an issue. 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 2 of 37
    So now I can disable face recognition every time I want to adjust the volume, put the phone to sleep, shift the phone from one ear to the other, or even just grab it from my pocket.  I hit the power and volume buttons together all the time.  They need to move the power button back to the top or at least make it where they aren't directly opposite each other.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 3 of 37
    mac_128 said:

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.
    That is such an absurd edge case it's not even worth mentioning. It will likely never, ever happen, not even once. Have you ever been pick-pocketed? Do you know anyone who has had their iPhone pick-pocketed? Did the pretend pick pocket then take time to analyze the device to see what brand it is, then which model it was, and then -- rather than make haste -- interact with the pretend victim? No, no, no, and no. 

    This kind of fiction is best left to bad television.
    bshankjax44radarthekatlolliverkenclostkiwiRacerhomieXwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 37
    78Bandit said:
    So now I can disable face recognition every time I want to adjust the volume, put the phone to sleep, shift the phone from one ear to the other, or even just grab it from my pocket.  I hit the power and volume buttons together all the time.  They need to move the power button back to the top or at least make it where they aren't directly opposite each other.
    Oh for christ's sake. 

    Get ready to produce a lot of screenshots.
    radarthekatlolliverRacerhomieXwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 37
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    mac_128 said:
    Seems like a reckless move ... if the thief knows enough about what he's stealing to point it at your face, I think doing anything to thwart their ability to unlock your phone is bad advice.

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.

    But most of these are the usual silly questions. If someone holds you up and wants your phone unlocked, then they're going to get that to happen regardless of these features. Best just to hand it over unlocked. For the typical thief, this isn't going to be an issue. 
    You made a stupid case that would never happen in the real life. Would you steal someone's iPhone and yell at that person to look at the phone to hopefully unlock it?
    radarthekatlolliverlostkiwiwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 37
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,102member
    The comments about it not working on women who cover their face might have been answered. Since it uses IR and not visible light, the sensors might be able to pierce through the veil since many aren't made of solid fabric, allowing Face ID to work. I believe most of these women are allowed to uncover their faces in private or around other women so they could program their iPhones in private and they might work in public. 

    With this in mind, I don't see Face ID actually working with dark sunglasses. Anyone test that?
  • Reply 7 of 37
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,291member
    I once did some work for a sunglasses manufacturer and came across a little tidbit that I found interesting.

    There was some special test they had to pass to make sure traffic lights were distinguishable while wearing the glasses no matter how dark they were. I think it was called the Q Factor or something but I'm not totally sure. Spectral transmission values?

    I wonder if when Craig says most sunglasses should work, he means those that have complied with all the necessary testing requirements as opposed to the cheapo sunglasses sold by street vendors etc. Or if it really is just a question of opacity and therefore, trial and error.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Cool.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 9 of 37
    mac_128 said:

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.
    That is such an absurd edge case it's not even worth mentioning. It will likely never, ever happen, not even once. Have you ever been pick-pocketed? Do you know anyone who has had their iPhone pick-pocketed? Did the pretend pick pocket then take time to analyze the device to see what brand it is, then which model it was, and then -- rather than make haste -- interact with the pretend victim? No, no, no, and no. 

    This kind of fiction is best left to bad television.
    You probably would see something like that on TruTV. 
  • Reply 10 of 37
    78Bandit said:
    So now I can disable face recognition every time I want to adjust the volume, put the phone to sleep, shift the phone from one ear to the other, or even just grab it from my pocket.  I hit the power and volume buttons together all the time.  They need to move the power button back to the top or at least make it where they aren't directly opposite each other.
    Yup, me too, all the time - and we're hardly alone. Apple really should put the power button back on top!
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Quickly disabling the Face ID is a great idea. If I'm out on the town I don't want someone to steal my iPhone and be able to use it. I assume Siri can still call a taxi lol. 
  • Reply 12 of 37
    rob53 said:
    The comments about it not working on women who cover their face might have been answered. Since it uses IR and not visible light, the sensors might be able to pierce through the veil since many aren't made of solid fabric, allowing Face ID to work. I believe most of these women are allowed to uncover their faces in private or around other women so they could program their iPhones in private and they might work in public. 

    With this in mind, I don't see Face ID actually working with dark sunglasses. Anyone test that?


    These women would like a word with you, Craig Federighi...
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 13 of 37
    The otter box cases I use stiffen up the buttons enough so that you really can't accidentally squeeze them while picking up the phone. So for me it's not an issue, and even the cheap case my wife uses on her 6s makes the power button stiff enough that you really have to mean to press it. I know that a lot of people don't use a case, and to them I say, "You're not holding it right!" 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 37
    mac_128 said:
    Seems like a reckless move ... if the thief knows enough about what he's stealing to point it at your face, I think doing anything to thwart their ability to unlock your phone is bad advice.

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.

    But most of these are the usual silly questions. If someone holds you up and wants your phone unlocked, then they're going to get that to happen regardless of these features. Best just to hand it over unlocked. For the typical thief, this isn't going to be an issue. 
    "But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked"

    okay, but it does not really do anything. You still have to use your password to remove your Apple account from the device! FaceID does not do that, and without it that device will still be traceable and locked.

    radarthekatlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    mac_128 said:

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.
    That is such an absurd edge case it's not even worth mentioning. It will likely never, ever happen, not even once. Have you ever been pick-pocketed? Do you know anyone who has had their iPhone pick-pocketed? Did the pretend pick pocket then take time to analyze the device to see what brand it is, then which model it was, and then -- rather than make haste -- interact with the pretend victim? No, no, no, and no. 

    This kind of fiction is best left to bad television.
    You probably would see something like that on TruTV. 
    The reality is, a friend of mine arrived in Paris, and stopped at a counter to buy a SIM card for her brand new phone. After confirming it was working, she put the phone in her backpack, and then got on the metro. Only when she arrived at her destination in Paris, did she realize she did not have her phone. Her backpack phone pocket was unzipped. Second guessing herself, she went back to the airport to see if she'd left it at the counter. When she explained what happened, they suggested she was pick pocketed on the train, the only place where she was jammed in with other people and getting pushed and shoved. Sure enough, they ran the security footage, and there was a guy watching the counter who followed her when she left after knowing exactly what kind of phone she had, and exactly where in the backpack she put it. It was clean and surgical. 

    Granted, the idea of the thief then shouting for her attention to unlock the phone, just as the doors were about to close so she couldn't follow is a bit extreme, but it's not impossible. 

    Again, that's no more absurd than the idea that a customer would not open their eyes to allow the phone to be unlocked during a holdup, or defeat the biometrics with a key press when "handing it over". It's absurd to even suggest a person in that situation would do either of those things, or anything else other than comply with the instructions of the robber. On the other hand, the question posed by the reporter is just as unlikely. Also foolish to ask. I find the fact that Apple was ready for such a question equally as disturbing. If anyone is being help up by a criminal with the opportunity to demand  valuables, much less unlock an iPhone, then the correct procedure is 100% compliance, not some sly theatrics Apple contrived for just such an occasion.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Craig Federighi looks like a Ken doll.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,146moderator
    mac_128 said:
    Seems like a reckless move ... if the thief knows enough about what he's stealing to point it at your face, I think doing anything to thwart their ability to unlock your phone is bad advice.

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.

    But most of these are the usual silly questions. If someone holds you up and wants your phone unlocked, then they're going to get that to happen regardless of these features. Best just to hand it over unlocked. For the typical thief, this isn't going to be an issue. 
    "But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked"

    okay, but it does not really do anything. You still have to use your password to remove your Apple account from the device! FaceID does not do that, and without it that device will still be traceable and locked.

    Bingo!
  • Reply 18 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,146moderator
    mac_128 said:
    mac_128 said:

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.
    That is such an absurd edge case it's not even worth mentioning. It will likely never, ever happen, not even once. Have you ever been pick-pocketed? Do you know anyone who has had their iPhone pick-pocketed? Did the pretend pick pocket then take time to analyze the device to see what brand it is, then which model it was, and then -- rather than make haste -- interact with the pretend victim? No, no, no, and no. 

    This kind of fiction is best left to bad television.
    You probably would see something like that on TruTV. 
    The reality is, a friend of mine arrived in Paris, and stopped at a counter to buy a SIM card for her brand new phone. After confirming it was working, she put the phone in her backpack, and then got on the metro. Only when she arrived at her destination in Paris, did she realize she did not have her phone. Her backpack phone pocket was unzipped. Second guessing herself, she went back to the airport to see if she'd left it at the counter. When she explained what happened, they suggested she was pick pocketed on the train, the only place where she was jammed in with other people and getting pushed and shoved. Sure enough, they ran the security footage, and there was a guy watching the counter who followed her when she left after knowing exactly what kind of phone she had, and exactly where in the backpack she put it. It was clean and surgical. 

    Granted, the idea of the thief then shouting for her attention to unlock the phone, just as the doors were about to close so she couldn't follow is a bit extreme, but it's not impossible. 

    Again, that's no more absurd than the idea that a customer would not open their eyes to allow the phone to be unlocked during a holdup, or defeat the biometrics with a key press when "handing it over". It's absurd to even suggest a person in that situation would do either of those things, or anything else other than comply with the instructions of the robber. On the other hand, the question posed by the reporter is just as unlikely. Also foolish to ask. I find the fact that Apple was ready for such a question equally as disturbing. If anyone is being help up by a criminal with the opportunity to demand  valuables, much less unlock an iPhone, then the correct procedure is 100% compliance, not some sly theatrics Apple contrived for just such an occasion.
    First, and I know this because I travel in the third-world, wear that backpack on your front when negotiating crowded spaces.  Regarding iPhone theft with the option of surreptitious unlocking, I guess it's not much different than having a wallet containing your passport and social security card and credit cards stolen.  At least the iPhone comes with security, which might NOT get compromised during a pick-pocketing incident.  Not true for the wallet.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    mac_128 said:
    Seems like a reckless move ... if the thief knows enough about what he's stealing to point it at your face, I think doing anything to thwart their ability to unlock your phone is bad advice.

    But a pick pocket actually could point your phone at your face and run away with it unlocked ... if a person didn't know their phone had been lifted, and turned to look at someone yelling "hey you", only to find themselves looking at their iPhone held to their face, the thief could run off before the person even knew what was happening or that they had just unlocked their own iPhone for a thief they barely had time to notice.


    I think the main problem with this scenario is that it doesn't take into account how pickpockets operate. 

    To begin with, pickpockets are opportunists. They are interested in the device, not your personal data. Secondly, the idea that a pickpocket will draw attention to themselves by shouting "hey you" after they've just committed a crime is beyond laughable. How is that going to work on a crowded train? On a crowded street where most pickpockets operate? 

    But let's assume you are right, and pickpockets all over the world are happy to draw attention to themselves and encourage their victims to get a good look at them before they run off. (Don't forget that you're techno pickpocket will need a moment to check the phone to make sure it has unlocked, and then maybe another moment to ask the victim if they could try again) If this becomes a problem, then Apple will simply add optional face locking  to Contacts, Calendar and Safari. The wallet is already safe (unless the techno pickpocket decides to flip to the wallet and shout "hey you" for a third time), so are the banking apps. In fact most apps that hold personal data already support locking, so if your scenario does happen (and I have to say, I'm somewhat sceptical) then the real danger is someone getting access to your game scores. 

    Sales of 1Password will go through the roof. 

    edited September 2017 kenclostkiwi
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Stop complaining & enjoy the new iPhones.  
    watto_cobra
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