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Apple Tests 3-D Face Scanning To Unlock Next iPhone: Bloomberg (bloomberg.com) 74

Five years ago, Apple made fingerprint scanners on smartphones popular. Now the company may have found a better technology to replace it. According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based company is exploring 3D facial detection as a replacement for Touch ID fingerprint authentication. From the article: This is powered by a new 3-D sensor, added the people, who asked not to be identified discussing technology that's still in development. The company is also testing eye scanning to augment the system, one of the people said. The sensor's speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face. The feature is still being tested and may not appear with the new device. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the person.
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Apple Tests 3-D Face Scanning To Unlock Next iPhone: Bloomberg

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So... yeah... fuck Apple. Again. Phone should be a phone, not everything else but a good phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So to unlock your phone in the middle of the night, you need to shine a bright light in your face and get your picture taken?
    Fingerprints made sense, you use your finger to tap the home button. Having to lift up the phone to your face to unlock IS NOT user friendly and sounds like a complete pain in the ass.

    Apple is just daring us to tell them to go fuck themselves. And it's about time we did
    Tim Cook needs to be dragged the fuck out of there -- he's forcing change for change sake to try to hide the fact he

    • So to unlock your phone in the middle of the night, you need to shine a bright light in your face and get your picture taken?

      Why would you assume a dedicated 3D sensor would need visible light? Or more than the screen light that they already use as a selfie flash?

      Even the quality of AC's has diminished on Slashdot these days, and that's saying something!

      • Even the quality of AC's has diminished on Slashdot these days.

        You're damn right! A few years ago I only needed two Slashdot AC's but these days I need five or even six on the very hot days to keep my house at 21C.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Never heard of IR?

    • Assuming Apple catches up to where Microsoft was two years ago, no. My Surface has an IR LED coupled with an Intel RealSense 3D camera to power its biometric authentication. Quick and accurate, even with variance in facial hair and eyewear.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      this is NOT the reason to hate this idea....

      you HATE this idea because all ANYONE (cops, crooks, exes, whatever) needs to do to unlock your phone is get it close to your face -- with or without your enthusiastic cooperation or awareness.

      • In this regard, facial scanning is probably more secure then fingerprints. You can always distort your face if you want to prevent someone from unlocking your phone. Much harder to prevent someone from forcing you to press the screen. Then there is the added benefit that, if they really want to force you, they can not beat you too much - at least not above the shoulders.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re So to unlock your phone in the middle of the night, you need to shine a bright light in your face and get your picture taken?
      Dont worry the user will have upgraded and live in a totally network home.
      With the new version, just lifting the hardware up will quickly turn the lights on in the same room so the unlock will be a normal daylight experience.
      A small number of reports of all lights in a house been activated every call are been looked into.
  • to find out if you have a 3-D face
  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @06:58PM (#54738891)

    Apple is raising the bar, but the problem with biometric authentication is always the same: once someone has made a 3D copy of your face, you cannot revoke your authentication credentials. You cannot change your face. Not easily at least.

    And someone will make a 3D copy of a face that defeats this feature, and you will find a tutorial on the Internet explaining how to do it to average Joe.

    • Apple is raising the bar, but the problem with biometric authentication is always the same: once someone has made a 3D copy of your face, you cannot revoke your authentication credentials.

      One of the reasons I'm against the idea of fingerprint-based biometric authentication is because I think it'll lead to criminals either forcibly using, or even removing, the user's fingers. I don't want to think about them removing faces ... messy.

      Or perhaps the phone won't recognise you after the criminal has beaten you senseless and broken your nose.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      Apple is raising the bar

      Apple is raising the bar... by using an authentication that's been in other devices (including even Windows and Windows Phone!) for years?

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Apple is raising the bar... by using an authentication that's been in other devices (including even Windows and Windows Phone!) for years?

        Uh, no one's done 3D facial scanning for authentication. Windows Phone and Windows itself (Windows Hello) use an IR camera purely because IR works better in more lighting conditions than RGB cameras do. (The image captured by IR cameras is more consistently lit even as you go from a bright room to darkness, whereas using a regular RGB camera will result in having to take

        • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

          Uh, no one's done 3D facial scanning for authentication. Windows Phone and Windows itself (Windows Hello) use an IR camera purely because IR works better in more lighting conditions than RGB cameras do.

          I see. Thanks for the clarification.

        • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

          Uh, no one's done 3D facial scanning for authentication

          Are you sure about that?

          https://www.groovypost.com/unplugged/can-you-trick-windows-hello-with-a-photo/
          Windows Hello-supported devices use two cameras to create a 3D image of your face.

          https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/how-to-get-working-windows-hello-on-actual-windows-10-insider-preview
          One of the cool new features announced for the upcoming WIndows* 10 is Windows* Hello [...] The recognition is done using two type of camera in cooperation; the first is a classical HD camera and the second is a depth camera (infrared) for 3D an temperature scanning.

          http://www.pcworld.com/article/2937701/why-most-of-us-will-miss-out-on-windows-hello-windows-10s-facial-recognition-feature.html
          But the technology depends on “depth cameras,” which use infrared light to peer through makeup and beards to identify users. It’s these cameras, primarily made by Intel, that analysts and some PC makers believe will be too expensive to build into the sort of cheap PCs (with cheap webcams) that consumers prefer.

          http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN298266/windows-10-hello-facial-recognition-feature---supported-systems-and-requirements?lang=EN
          The Windows 10 Hello Facial Recognition feature requires an Intel RealSense or 3D Camera to support facial unlock features. This is not available on all Windows 10 tested systems and the current list is detailed below.

          It's true that one page in the Microsoft docs say that they use IR to account for differences in ambient lighting, and make no mention of the presence of absence of 3d scanning:
          https://docs.microsoft.com/en-... [microsoft.com]
          But then other docs give the impression that Windows provides two API frameworks, "Companion Device Framework" and "biometric":
          https://docs.microsoft.com/en-... [microsoft.com]

          So maybe it's just down to the device driver whether it uses 2d or 3d scanning to power Windows Hello, as suggested in

  • I don't use the finger print sensor, it's not that useful a sensor for other purposes (that I've seen). But this does sound promising if it can be used to get basic 3-d scans of objects.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2017 @07:13PM (#54738949)

    Just more insidious. Use your face to lock your phone. Get arrested by police. Police just hold your phone up to your face, no password needed.

    • by idji ( 984038 )
      I would only use this if it was FACE + FINGER + PASSWORD, where the digits on the screen randomly move around. If anyone forces me to use face or finger, I type the lock password, which requires a key to unlock that I have buried in a hole in my garden, or someone deep in a file.
  • It's bad enough that in the winter I have to take a glove off to unlock the phone and use it. Now I'll have to take whatever I have keeping my face/ears warm off to unlock the phone and then my glove off to use it. Of course I'll still be use my 5s whenever this comes out because I refuse to pay full price for phones that have reduced feature sets. For example the SE doesn't have all of the touch screen features of the existing models when it was introduced. Apple just didn't want to sacrifice sales of thei

  • by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <kepler1@DEBIANhotmail.com minus distro> on Monday July 03, 2017 @07:39PM (#54739055)
    So, no more refusing to give your fingerprint to consent to having your phone unlocked after it's been seized or taken by someone unauthorized, I suppose? They just point it at your face and voila, all your info is theirs to read.

    I suppose you could make distorted faces at them to prevent it from happening... until you get tired.

    This seems like *less* control over your device.
    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      Can't they just move your finger onto the phone - especially as you mention when you fall asleep, which is something I never thought about? It seems like it has only a slight improvement over facial recognition.

    • by dwightk ( 415372 )
      turn your phone off before you get arrested
  • Am I supposed to point my phone at my face discreetly in the middle of a meeting? I can use a fingerprint sensor with the phone still in my pocket or under the table.
  • So do you have to 're-sync' your face with your phone if you didn't shave, or grew / removed a beard, or had / resolved weight issues? Further, with 3D printers becoming ever cheaper and more capable, hacking this sounds even easier than the gelatin fingerprint hack.
  • I seem to recall, and am currently too lazy to dig up, a story on /. awhile back about some company that could make a *very* realistic 3D printed mask of anyone for anyone. I don't know if anyone had tested them with face recognition systems yet.
  • Big upside (Score:4, Funny)

    by seoras ( 147590 ) on Tuesday July 04, 2017 @01:09AM (#54740259)

    At least the police will have to leave your face alone to be able to unlock your phone ;)

  • Given the obvious security hole of just-point-at-the-face-and-it-unlocks I bet they'll require a specific facial movement to confirm it like some cards (Mastercard for one) do with using selfies (blink, smile, whatever). I'm not advocating it or even saying using biometrics as the main password is a good idea, but I'm seeing a lot of comments where people are afraid that it's just point-and-unlock and I wanted to bring a different perspective to the table based off of what we currently have.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It'd be extra effort, but could they secure it further by allowing a combination of biometrics in a specific order to unlock it, possibly further combined with a passcode?

      They could potentially do this with just touch ID, where you need to use specific fingers in a specific order.

      Of course this would all defeat the rapid convenience of touch/face ID as the only unlock method, which means Apple is unlikely to implement it, but maybe they could have a "fast unlock" timer where once you had used the more compl

      • That would make sense as well Apple devices require the actual Password/PIN when a reboot happens before it'll allow TouchID, so they'll probably extend it to the face scanner. As a note: Microsoft Surface does a face scan to unlock Windows and it does not require any other password So, the technology is already being implimented with no secondary password involved (though I'm guessing nobody here is surprised that M$ is doing something like this)
  • I love Touch ID. I use it all the time. I have a 15+ character passcode, and the only reason that is convenient is because of Touch ID. But a system that a) canâ(TM)t work in the dark and b) works in the light even without your consent isnâ(TM)t more convenient OR secure. I have no idea why Iâ(TM)d want this.

    That said, this is all conjecture. Hopefully the real products this year keep Touch ID or something similar. I wonâ(TM)t stop using iOS products, but this isnâ(TM)t anything I c

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