Apple: Face ID didn’t fail during the iPhone X demo

The hottest new tech of the iPhone X, Face ID, was also the laughing stock of the event’s keynote when it apparently failed to work the first time Apple demoed it on stage. The company was mocked relentlessly for this “failure” on social media and in the press–but it turns out Face ID worked exactly how it should have, as Yahoo’s David Pogue reports.

Apple reached out to him to confirm that the reason Face ID did not unlock the iPhone X for Apple software head Craig Federighi’s live demo was because the phone had already scanned other people’s faces as they were setting up the demo, didn’t recognize those faces because they weren’t set up for Face ID authentication, and thus disabled Face ID after too many false attempts at unlocking the phone with the unrecognized faces. As Pogue writes:

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.”