Apple Patent Describes a More Secure Face-Recognition System
An Apple face-recognition patent shows how 3-D imaging could provide for better system security. Images: Free Patents Online
A new Apple patent application concerning face-recognition technology suggests an interesting security update for iOS. And that could be just the beginning of what the technology might enable.
The patent, “3D Object Recognition,” describes a novel way to generate 3-D models using 2-D images. It’s a follow-up to a patent Apple already owns, originally filed by Swedish firm Polar Rose, which Apple purchased in late 2010.
In essence, the technology would use multiple photos, or even video, to create a robust 3-D representation of a user’s face. With this 3-D representation locked in, it could then be compared, on the fly, to a 3-D representation built in real time from a 2-D image captured from a user’s phone.
The system has obvious applications in system security — namely, a home screen unlocking mechanism that’s not easily fooled. But the technology need not be limited to just face detection. It could also be used to identify an entire body, or employed in medical applications to identify specific organs, or even tumors.