Apple Inc: Facial Recognition Technology, The Future of iPhones, iPad and Mac

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By Athena Yenko | December 4, 2013 5:18 PM EST

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. was granted a patent to a facial recognition technology that will hopefully assure heightened privacy and security among iPhones, iPad and Mac users.

The said facial recognition technology, with Patent no. 8,600, 120 was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The technology will allow users to unlock their devices just by literally looking at their devices.

Take an iPhone for example. During a call, the device will be able to "feel" if a face is looking at its screen. If the iPhone does not recognise the face, it will identify it as an authorised user, hence, it will remain unlock with its ringtone or vibrate still alerting its real owner about the incoming call.

The same goes for an incoming email - unless the device recognises the face looking at the device's screen as its authorised user, the email will remain blocked from unauthorised viewing.

As for the Mac, as long as it recognises the face staring at its screen, the computer system may be programmed to either activate or deactivate screen lock, screen savers, video settings, audio setting and even communication settings.

According to an AppleInsider report, this facial recognition technology employs a "unique algorithm that uses face pattern recognition to learn a user's face."

In a document obtained by AppleInsider that explains the technology in details, the facial recognition technology "compares face feature vector data, gathered from an image output by an on-board camera, with stored vector data. These vectors can range from face shapes to distance between facial features, such as eyes and nose. Using the vector data, the system determines whether a user is authorized to operate the device and controls data input/output based on this information."

It seemed like that Apple Inc is hell-bent to create highly technological advanced devices for its future launches.

Prior to a patent for the facial recognition technology, Apple Inc was also granted a patent to another technology called stereoscopic image data in software. This technology will allow users, even amateurs maybe, to have photos taken with high-depth qualities. "Stereoscopic imaging is a technique designed to replicate the way humans perceive depth in real life. Because people's eyes are offset from one another, each eye receives an image of the subject at a slightly different angle - the brain then stitches these images together, creating the appearance of depth."

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