Face ID on the iPhone X: Questions and Answers on the Apple Face Recognition and Unlocking System

iphone x facial unlock

Apple has not been the first company to implement a facial recognition and unlock system on the iPhone X, but it has done so in its own way.

Apple has christened this system as Face ID on the iPhone X, which has a very sophisticated technology inside. Here we will tell you what it consists of in detail.

We started with the hardware: 8 front sensors

The screen of the iPhone X premieres new design without frames, with a small peninsula at its top. This area is not a fad but serves to house the 8 front sensors of the iPhone X:

  • FaceTime 7MP camera
  • Infrared camera
  • Spotlight
  • IR Illuminator
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Speaker
  • Microphone

Of all of them, only the first four are used with the Face ID facial recognition system. As a whole, Apple refers to the system as TrueDepth, able to measure and create a map of our face in three dimensions.

This model of your face is used to contrast the next time you try to unlock your iPhone X. The A11 Bionic chip (pretty name) uses its power to unlock instantaneously. With this, we are talking about a set of hardware and software (iOS 11) that work in unison to ensure the security of your device.

Is this scan safe? Where is that model of my face saved?

Apple said yesterday that Touch ID has a failure probability of 1 / 50,000. That is, there is a 50,000 chance that a random person will take your iPhone and unlock it with your fingerprint. In the case of Face ID, the probability that a person is so similar to you is 1 in 1,000,000.

The user’s face is stored on the phone itself and never goes to a cloud or server in a remote country
The iPhone X facial recognition system creates a mathematical model of your face and stores it on a specific chip called Secure Enclave. It is a site that the rest of the operating system does not have access to, so it can not be accessed except for Face ID.

In addition, being stored on your iPhone X, your face will never leave the device. It will not be on any fuzzy cloud or server in a remote country. There is no possibility that a hacker tomorrow will steal hundreds of millions of faces from iPhone users because they are on their devices.

Can someone with a photo of me use the recognition and unlock system of the iPhone X?

No. The iPhone uses a 3D model of your face, so it detects whether it’s a 2D photo or your real face. It also does not use an iris reader, so a high-resolution photo of your eyes can not fool you.

What happens if it is night?

Face ID has an infrared camera that detects your face when it is night, so you should not worry.

What if I wear glasses, a cap, or leave a beard?

Does not matter. The face recognition system of the iPhone X “invisibly” launches 30,000 different points to your face to measure and analyze it almost instantaneously. For this, no matter what changes happen in your face over time.

I have a twin brother, can you unlock my iPhone X with your face?

Unfortunately if. Identical twin or monozygotic twins have the same structure on the face, so it could unlock your iPhone X. It is the only case in which a fingerprint reader is superior to Face ID. Anyway, the iPhone X still has code unlocking.

Unfortunately, Face ID can be unlocked by an identical twin brother (not twin)
The question is the same as did Craig Federighi in the keynote: do you have an evil twin that you have to worry about?

What if someone takes my iPhone X and puts it in front of my face without me noticing?

It will not work until you look near the sensor area (you do not need to put your phone at the level of your eyes) and your eyes are open. That is, if you are sleeping, Face ID will not unlock your iPhone X. It will not work with the terminal on the other side of the room.

What other things can I do with Face ID?

Contrary to competition terminals, Face ID is so secure that it will serve to authorize purchases through Apple Pay. It will also work with third-party apps, as a password and as with Touch ID.