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Forget Fingerprints: Your Face Could Be Your Next IPhone Key

If newly patented Apple tech becomes reality, your future iPhone may recognize your face and unlock itself in response.

Apple has just been granted a patent for facial recognition tech that could make future iPhones smarter and more secure.

The patent mentions several different ways an iPhone or iPad could detect a user's face, extract meaningful characteristics from the image, and compare it to the list of approved users' features. The device could then unlock itself, having been satisfied that a verified user and not a snooper or a thief is trying to access the phone's data. This sort of trick should instantly remind you of Apple's new TouchID fingerprint system on the iPhone 5S, because it works in much the same way. But this facial recognition tech is a potentially easier and swifter way of verification.

The seamlessness of face recognition versus fingerprint IDs could let the phone vary how it responds when an action happens. For example, an incoming phone call would have all caller details shown to the real user, but if a stranger or, more realistically, a nosy sibling, picked up the phone, the device would merely show an incoming call. Private data like emails or perhaps bank data would only be shown to genuine users.

We can't help but think this tech will also pair nicely with Apple's recent PrimeSense technology acquisition. And will it play a part in securing Apple's plans for mobile payment technology?

[Image: Flickr user]

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  • Guest

    I've never broken an iPhone in my life, but if facial recognition goes into effect that all may come to an end.

  • sbem

    the fact that Android's Face Unlock is not even really says a lot about the level of research that went into this article...

  • Rob LaRosa

    How much research do they need to do? They're reporting on the fact that Apple was granted a patent for facial recognition. Is this true? Yes, it is. Research done.

    Get over yourself.

  • Rob LaRosa

    So what does that have to do with this story about Apple being awarded a patent? Does the fact that Android does this make the story any less true?