In the era of digital advancement, Apple is looking to simplify and secure access to personal computing devices using facial recognition technology. A recently published patent, numbered US20230252779A1, gives a glimpse that the technology giant might be planning to include this feature in its renowned product, "Face ID."
The main aim is to make your computer or tablet "recognize" you just by scanning your face. This would allow the device to adapt itself based on who is using it, potentially revolutionizing the way we interact with our devices.
Present personal computer devices have certain limitations. For instance, they perform certain functions (like activating a screensaver) based on a fixed schedule, irrespective of whether a user is actively engaging with the device or not. A user then has to continually interact with the system to prevent or disable these automated responses. Moreover, verifying user credentials for access to restricted applications often requires entering a password actively. All these complications emphasize a need for a more reliable and convenient way of recognizing and interacting with a user.
Apple's new technology intends to overcome these limitations. The said innovation can determine the presence of a user just by their face, thereby eliminating the need for manual input. Furthermore, it provides more secure control based on user recognition. For example, it could prevent a screensaver from activating if it "sees" someone is still looking at the screen. When integrated with access controls, it can recognize authorized users for certain applications and allow them instant access without a need to key in a password.
Implementation of this feature is expected to be diverse, from personal media devices resembling our usual tablets, as shown in figure 1A, to desktop PCs shown in figure 1B. Moreover, hand held personal devices, like in figure 2, can be designed to adapt a user-friendly approach. A flow diagram depicted in figure 8 helps us understand the step-by-step process that the invention is expected to follow to detect and recognize a face.
However, it's important to underscore that this is just a patent. Whether such technology will actually come to the market is yet uncertain. Technological advancements and patents are two different things and breakthroughs in laboratories do not necessarily mean that we'll see them on sale shortly. So, for now, we can just hope that this interesting technology will make its way to our desks soon.