We’ve been able to unlock our smartphones through face detection for a significant amount of years now, so long as you’re using an Android phone of course. You’d assume this would be the most logical way to unlock your phone, given the fact that you’re staring at it during this particular process. The biggest problem with this though is how inaccurate it can be, and Apple seems to be working on that for a future iPhone.
Apple was just granted a new patent called “Low threshold face recognition,” which in its name alone is almost self explanatory. The patent focuses on “reducing the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions” that can negatively affect facial recognition, something crucial if any customer wants to take “face unlock” services seriously. The patent doesn’t really describe what means will be used for this to work in a way that we mortals can understand, but we assume that Apple’s 2010 acqusition of Swedish face-recognition firm Polar Rose could have something to do with this.
We doubt this will ever replace Touch ID, but it sure is better than a pin password if someone can figure it out. This fits well in the recent rumors of the Apple Watch 2 being FaceTime capable, but time will tell.