Apple has reduced the iPhone X’s Face ID accuracy to boost production

[Update, 10/25/17 12:27 p.m. EDT: Apple has released a statement denying that it lowered the accuracy of Face ID.]

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has chosen to reduce the accuracy of the iPhone X’s facial recognition system in order to boost production of the device, which ships on November 3. Citing sources familiar with the situation, Bloomberg reports that Apple “quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture.”

The 3D sensor used in Face ID has three key elements: an infrared camera, an infrared light projector, and a dot projector. The dot projector flashes 30,000 dots onto a user’s face, which helps the Face ID system accurately identify the user. According to the report, Apple chose to reduce the accuracy of the dot projectors in order to increase production: 

To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, according to a different person with knowledge of the process. As a result, it took less time to test completed modules, one of the major sticking points, the person said. 

It’s unclear how the reduced accuracy will affect Face ID and its ability to accurately detect a user’s face. Apple has yet to comment on the report.MG