A patent by Apple has been revealed, detailing a method for unlocking electronic devices by facial detection. This is obviously related to other patents by Apple which have surfaced, regarding face and object recognition in general.
The method allows for the locking/unlocking of a device, and includes child safety features, and acquisition of “user’s intended movements”
The idea of unlocking a device by pointing it at your face has already been seen on the market, built into Android's Ice Cream Sandwich. However, some have pointed out that it appears Apple actually took this patent before the feature was even integrated into Android devices.
Nonetheless, facial detection as a biometric security mechanism was not the innovation of either Apple or Google, so neither should really complain.
PatentlyApple, who reported this story, also argues that Apple's methodology for the system is much deeper than that used by Google in its Android devices.
"Today’s invention takes a few different twists that very interesting. I’m sure that die-hard Androiders will be up in arms today pointing to Google’s feature and patent – but Apple’s invention adds so much more depth. We’ll point you to Google’s patent for those wishing to compare the two inventions to be fair. Yet at the end of the day, Apple’s invention – especially if they combine it with ‘Presence’ technology, will have a unique product that will simply outshine Google’s implementation, plain and simple."
And, on that note, it is important to point out that the patent is not for facial recognition/unlock at all, but for a specific method and system of implementing it.
In any case, this story will probably rouse two types of people: those who are excited that face unlock could be coming to iOS devices, and those who are thoroughly irritated to see Apple stamping its logo on another idea.
Source: PatentlyApple via 9to5mac