Apple did consider including both Face ID and Touch ID on an iPhone

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in iPhone
Apple could have included a facial recognition system similar to Face ID on an iPhone while retaining Touch ID, with regulatory filings revealing the company did consider having both forms of biometric security on the same device as part of a wider authentication system.

Face ID enrollment on the iPhone X
Face ID enrollment on the iPhone X


The introduction of the iPhone X in 2017 heralded the introduction of Face ID along with a larger edge-to-edge display, but at the cost of removing Touch ID and the physical home button from the iPhone. While the home button was ultimately removed due to the display and aesthetics, there was still the small possibility ahead of the iPhone X's launch that Apple could use both Face ID and Touch ID on the same iPhone.

A European patent application for "Implementation of Biometric Authentication," filed in January and published on Thursday, describes the use of biometric authentication systems for use on mobile devices. For the most part, the patent discusses how biometric authentication is cumbersome, due to needing to use the device and the identifying section of the body in the same way as the initial registration process for it to be effective.

"Deviation from the alignment of the biometric feature often results in a false negative result," states the filing. "As a result, a user is, optionally, required to unnecessarily perform multiple iterations of biometric authentication, or is, optionally, discouraged from using the biometric authentication altogether."

Multiple attempts at biometric authentication is considered to be a waste of both the user's time and the device's energy, with the patent suggesting more efficient techniques to performing such tests. While a failure would usually require users to reattempt via the same biometric method or to enter their security code, as is the case with current models, the patent application suggests otherwise.

Text buried in the filing mentions the use of an "alternative form of authentication than that associated with the biometric feature." In effect, this means if one biometric authentication check fails, such as Face ID, an alternative like Touch ID could still be used to log in, instead of using the passcode.

The passage suggests that Apple at least thought about including both Face ID and Touch ID mechanisms on the iPhone or iPad before deciding against the prospect.

For users, having multiple biometric systems available would be advantageous in multiple ways. While Face ID could offer authentication while the user's fingerprints are unusable due to gloves or dirt, Touch ID could feasibly be used in situations where Face ID isn't suitable, like in a pocket or if the user is carrying items that prevent them from raising their iPhone to their face.

Apple does file a considerable number of patents and applications on a daily basis, and while the concepts described do indicate areas of interest for the company, it isn't guaranteed the filing's publication will make its way to a consumer product. Considering the successful reception of Face ID as a Touch ID replacement, like the addition of Face ID to the 2018 iPad Pro models, it seems unlikely that Apple will put both authentication systems on a device anytime soon.

Using multiple forms of biometric security on a device isn't new, as other smartphones have already gone down that route with varying results. Samsung has experimented with 2D facial recognition, one that is far less secure than the 3D-based Face ID, but the Galaxy S9 from March also includes more stringent security, in the form of an iris scanner and rear-mounted fingerprint reader, for more sensitive functions like Samsung Pay.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,180member
    As you mention, multiple biometric options give the user advantages. Flexibility is great to have.

    It's a shame that a FaceID 'light' wasn't released for the 8 Series.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate would be less secure.  It’s no surprise Apple threw that option out...

    Face ID and Touch ID would have been more secure, but the number of false negatives would have exploded... which would have been annoying.  

    Apple still needs 2FA, but a device with both Face ID and Touch ID would be a pricy and still poor solution.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Yes Please! Facial Recog is next to useless when wearing protective headgear. TouchID is a perfect alternative.

    allmypeople
  • Reply 4 of 34
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,151member
    I understand that there are some edge cases for Touch ID, but after using Face ID for a couple of months I would never want to go back to Touch ID. Face ID simply works so much better and faster than Touch ID, with or without eyewear including sunglasses.
    mike1beem335iStrangeDaysn2itivguycharlesgres
  • Reply 5 of 34
    I've had zero issues using Face ID since its implementation...I prefer it much more than Touch ID. I also think it's funny when my grandkids pick up my iPhone X and ask me "what's your password Pop Pop" and I say "it's your face" and they laugh Lol.
    edited December 2018 StrangeDayslarz2112charlesgreswatto_cobraloopychew
  • Reply 6 of 34
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,923member
    dewme said:
    I understand that there are some edge cases for Touch ID, but after using Face ID for a couple of months I would never want to go back to Touch ID. Face ID simply works so much better and faster than Touch ID, with or without eyewear including sunglasses.
    Agree. I love Face ID as compared to Touch ID. Much faster, easier and more intuitive. I do have one pair of sunglasses that work fine and another that must be lifted up to expose my eyes. Can't really tell by just looking, but they must be slightly darker or reflective than the pair that works without lifting.

    With either method, I do wish there was an option to not have to unlock individual apps once my phone is unlocked.
    charlesgres
  • Reply 7 of 34
    beem335ibeem335i Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    If they would have gone that route I can just imagine the pricing already.. iPhone XS MAX $2,199 
  • Reply 8 of 34
    The phones should offer the trifecta of Face ID, Touch ID and password. All three at once would be optimal from a security and legal standpoint.
    edited December 2018 canukstorm
  • Reply 9 of 34
    avon b7 said:
    As you mention, multiple biometric options give the user advantages. Flexibility is great to have.

    It's a shame that a FaceID 'light' wasn't released for the 8 Series.
    No it isn't. I find your POV curious as you don't even use iPhones, but as an actual iPhone user, it's not a shame at all.
    chiaRayz2016sphericmacpluspluscharlesgres
  • Reply 10 of 34
    The phones should offer the trifecta of Face ID, Touch ID and password. All three at once would be optimal from a security and legal standpoint.
    A legal standpoint? What on earth are you talking about? Double biometrics is silly; it's called two-factor authentication, not three-factor.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Anybody else see this story? The crappy chinese knockoffs are readily fooled by 3D-printed, fake heads:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/12/17/we-broke-into-a-bunch-of-android-phones-with-a-3d-printed-head/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/12/13/we-broke-into-a-bunch-of-android-phones-with-a-3d-printed-head/#4a25276b1330

    "I then held up my fake head to the devices to see if the device would unlock. For all four Android phones, the spoof face was able to open the phone, though with differing degrees of ease. The iPhone X was the only one to never be fooled."
    Rayz2016bb-15watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,168member
    Using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate would be less secure.  It’s no surprise Apple threw that option out...

    Face ID and Touch ID would have been more secure, but the number of false negatives would have exploded... which would have been annoying.  

    Apple still needs 2FA, but a device with both Face ID and Touch ID would be a pricy and still poor solution.
    Apple has 2FA, not sure what you're talking about?!?! Try turning it on. Where have you been? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204915
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 34
    I think having both Touch ID and Face ID may have been nice if it was the same price, but not if it was drastically more expensive. The price of the iPhone is already high.
    bb-15
  • Reply 14 of 34
    The phones should offer the trifecta of Face ID, Touch ID and password. All three at once would be optimal from a security and legal standpoint.
    A legal standpoint? What on earth are you talking about? Double biometrics is silly; it's called two-factor authentication, not three-factor.

    A fingerprint or face may be compelled by law enforcement to unlock a phone or other device. A password cannot be legally compelled.

    A person who doesn’t know or understand that distinction these days is simply ignorant of the law.
    edited December 2018 MplsPSanctum1972
  • Reply 15 of 34
    The phones should offer the trifecta of Face ID, Touch ID and password. All three at once would be optimal from a security and legal standpoint.
    A legal standpoint? What on earth are you talking about? Double biometrics is silly; it's called two-factor authentication, not three-factor.

    A fingerprint or face may be compelled by law enforcement to unlock a phone or other device. A password cannot be legally compelled.

    A person who doesn’t know or understand that distinction these days is simply ignorant of the law.
    No, not knowing no iPhone in 10 years has shipped without password support is ignorant. So again -- what on earth are you talking about? How is "all three" (adding TouchID back in, in addition to Face ID) any more “legal” than without? Be specific. 

    Because we already have two-factor security (2FA). That is, two of the three options: something you know, something you have, something you are. Adding two biometrics is no more legally protected than one biometric. 

    https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/two-factor-authentication
    edited December 2018 Rayz2016
  • Reply 16 of 34
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,715member
    No surprise. I think if Apple didn't think of using both in an iPhone, it would be derelict in its duty to consider every design choice. Remember for every yes, there are probably 100s of no's. 
    bb-15macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 34
    The phones should offer the trifecta of Face ID, Touch ID and password. All three at once would be optimal from a security and legal standpoint.
    That would be pointless drudgery for most users.  The whole purpose of FaceID is to provide a method of truly securing one's phone that doesn't require memorizing a gobbledygook password.

    The fact that a Face or Touch ID secured phone might as well not be locked at all to law enforcement doesn't even impinge on most people's awareness, and even if it did, many wouldn't care.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 34
    Yes Please! Facial Recog is next to useless when wearing protective headgear. TouchID is a perfect alternative.

    This. It's such a pain when snowboarding. But it's too late. Apple never goes back on stuff like this.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,763member
    jungmark said:
    No surprise. I think if Apple didn't think of using both in an iPhone, it would be derelict in its duty to consider every design choice. Remember for every yes, there are probably 100s of no's. 
    Indeed. Look at how much stuff Apple patents every year; a fraction of that shows up in a finished product.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 34
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,180member
    avon b7 said:
    As you mention, multiple biometric options give the user advantages. Flexibility is great to have.

    It's a shame that a FaceID 'light' wasn't released for the 8 Series.
    No it isn't. I find your POV curious as you don't even use iPhones, but as an actual iPhone user, it's not a shame at all.
    What do iPhones have to do with the idea?

    This is about the idea of having multiple biometric options on the device to offer choice and flexibility.

    Having an iPhone or not is the least of anything. I can speak because my phone has two biometric options.
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