Our digital lives are stored on our smartphones, and we have flooded our smartphones with GBs of personal information. Managing and protecting information from others has become a challenge and at the same time making it accessible to us personally has become difficult. Fingerprint sensing is one… (Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/flat-recognition-facial-face-woman-3252983/)
Our digital lives are stored on our smartphones, and we have flooded our smartphones with GBs of personal information. Managing and protecting information from others has become a challenge and at the same time making it accessible to us personally has become difficult. Fingerprint sensing is one such technology that was developed to cater to this challenge of providing security. It provides accessibility to a device at the touch of a finger as opposed to entering a passcode. The probability that a random person globally could access your smartphone through his/her fingerprint is one in 50,000.
Apple launched Face ID in iPhone X as a replacement for fingerprint sensing in September 2017. Face ID provides secure user authentication by using facial features. It authenticates the user through iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system along with other technologies to accurately map the geometry of the user’s face. It provides an increased accuracy of one in 1,000,000 from fingerprint sensing.
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Facing up to change
Face ID is enabled through a combination of advanced hardware and software. Accurate facial information can be captured by the TrueDepth camera, it can project and analyze more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face. To unlock a device using facial data, Face ID uses a segment of Apple’s A11 Bionic chip’s neural engine. The neural engine helps in transforming the depth map and infrared image into a mathematical representation. It then compares this represented information to a registered facial data. The comparison of data takes place on the device itself, making the processing faster and secure.
The foundation of the dot projector is derived from a technology that Apple acquired from the Israeli company PrimeSense. Apple inherited a patent related to this technology from PrimeSense – US9098931B2, titled “Scanning projectors and image capture modules for 3D mapping”. Granted in 2015, the patent describes methods and apparatus for efficient projection of patterns, particularly for 3D mapping, as well as for imaging of such projected patterns.
Apple inherited another patent from PrimeSense related to Face ID technology – US9582889B2, titled “Depth mapping based on pattern matching and stereoscopic information”. Granted in 2017, the patent teaches generating 3D maps of objects based on image processing of a pattern that is projected on the object.
Technology giants Google and Facebook are also innovating in facial recognition to implement various functionalities such as providing easier accessibility to users with a higher level of security. Google has a patent US9762959B2 titled “Automatic transition of content based on facial recognition” related to identifying movement of a user from a first location to a second based on facial recognition and playing media from a device at the first location to another device at the second location.
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Facebook’s patent application US20170329989A1 discusses automatic identification of images of a second user on a device of a first user. Once identified, the device provides options to the first user to share the images with the second user. CN107430728A by Google describes a face-based recognition technique to identify users involved in a transaction through a payment processing system, thereby increasing user convenience.
Megvii Inc., a facial recognition development startup and also known as Face++, developed a facial recognition technology that enables payments authorization, access to facilities and tracking down of criminals. The technology from Face++ is already being used in several popular apps. Alipay is another mobile payment application used to transfer money. More than 120 million people in China use this platform for money transfer by using their face as credentials. Didi is a major Chinese ride-sharing company, which uses the Face++ software that allows passengers to confirm whether the driver an authorized driver.
Face++ have filed patent applications such as US20170345146A1, US20170004355A1, and CN103793697A that broadly relate to face recognition and identification of a person based on various facial parameters, along with detection of liveliness to prevent anyone from duping the system with a photo.
As the world is becoming more interconnected and moving towards digitalization and as our identities further digitize themselves away from passwords and PIN numbers, face recognition seems to be the need of the hour. It is becoming easier than ever for organizations to benefit from facial recognition technology. Organizations use the technology for various purposes ranging from preventing shoplifting and violent crimes to protecting personal information. While more research and development is required for this novice technology, it will continue to advance rapidly alongside related technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). This digitalization of society will create new value to the industry while increasing global safety, security, and convenience for us all.
(Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/flat-recognition-facial-face-woman-3252983/)