Apple Face ID

Look into my eyes and then look into my face


First of all, Apple is convinced of the benefits of its Face ID. It is not without reason that this technology is described as «advanced». Furthermore, today, biometric data are common factors for identifying people. However, the focus is obviously on data security on your own iPhone, too. Therefore, we want to ask ourselves what the benefits of the Face ID are and if Apple will meet their own – usual high – standards.

The company states that Face ID is in any case safer than the fingerprint recognition. Furthermore, it is doubtlessly much more hygienic, but is the high price that progress demands really justified? After all, the iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone ever on the market.

Convenience is indisputably one benefit of the Face ID. A quick and deep glance at the display is enough to unlock all possibilities of the smartphone. The TrueDepth camera makes that possible. It captures the exact facial data by projecting and analysing more than 30,000 invisible dots. In this way a depth map of the face is created. At the same time, the camera records an infrared image. A part of the neural architecture of the A11 Bionic Chip – which is protected by the Secure Enclave – converts the depth map and the infrared image into a mathematical representation. In this way, this representation can be compared with the registered facial data of the user. The Face ID data, including the mathematical representation of the face, are protected by a key which is only available in the Secure Enclave. Furthermore, Apple says that the mathematical model of individual facial features is not reversible that means that it can't be translated back into a 3D rendering of the user. This is what Apple writes about it: «The chance that a random person in the population will be able to look at the screen of your iPhone X and unlock it via Face ID is about 1:1,000,000 (compared with 1:50,000 in the case of Touch ID)».

The configuration of the Face ID is relatively easy and is quickly done. The system also supports glasses and contact lenses. The technology is capable of learning and also recognizes make-up and beard growth as well as hats, scarves and most of the sunglasses. Furthermore, the Face ID is available indoors and outdoors and also in complete darkness.

The convenience topic also spans advantages as for example shopping with Apple Pay or in the Apple store using Face ID. It can also be used for logging in to apps or automatically filling in passwords in the Safari browser.

In summary, we can say that, besides the comfort, the safety requirements Apple can meet with their cutting-edge technology are convincing.