What is Face ID and how does it work in iPhone 11?
The Face ID feature is no doubt one of the best features of the iPhone 11 range. First introduced in 2017 with the iPhone X, the Face ID technology has since grown in scope and efficiency. This technology is being pegged to be 30 percent faster while supporting more angles as well, in the latest iPhone 11.
The increase in processing speed can be attributed to the new A13 Bionic processor which boasts of a more capable neural engine, which provides a speed boost that translates to faster unlocking. However, this isn’t decipherable in most cases as much of what happens behind the scenes (and there is a lot of activity that takes place before letting you in) was already fast enough on the iPhone X.
Read on if you are curious to know about what goes behind authenticating a user when they use Face ID to unlock their iPhone.
First things first, the basic technology that powers Face ID remains much the same as what it was when it debuted in 2017. That includes the same set of cameras and sensors to create a digital image of your face before the same is matched with the stock image stored on your iPhone.
The process starts with the TrueDepth camera that detects your face. It is capable of doing so even in the dark as it is backed with a flood illuminator. Thereafter, an infrared camera takes an image of your face while a dot projector projects infrared dots on your face.
In reality, there are over 30,000 dots that are projected onto you to create the most realistic image of your face. That includes taking into account all the curves and bends present on your face. All of this information is then passed on to the neural network to develop what can be considered a model of your face. The model is then matched against the image of your face that you have stored on your iPhone 11 while setting up Face ID. The phone only unlocks if there is a match.
Among the improvements, the new iPhone 11 also showcases the ability to authenticate the right user even when the device is lying on the table. With earlier iterations, you would have had to lift up the device and hold it in front of your face to successfully use the Face ID feature.
Special mention must also be made of the new A13 Bionic chip which comprises an octa-core neural engine specifically designed for machine intelligence and AI functionality. Apple claims that the engine is capable of over five trillion operations in a second, making it one of the most powerful chips ever to be packed into a smartphone form factor. It is no wonder that all of the image processing and matching is accomplished in real-time and in less than a second.
Also Read – 5 Features to Watch Out for in iPhone 11
Also, much like Touch ID, Apple has enabled Face ID to be the primary means of authenticating the user’s identity while making payments using Apple Pay. This makes it convenient to pay for things without the need to enter any password or touch a specific part of the phone as was required for Touch ID in models before iPhone X.
Not surprisingly, Face ID has already spawned a whole host of face identification technologies, none of which are as advanced or reliable as the feature Apple offers.