With the arrival of the iPhone X in 2017, Apple showed the world its facial recognition system. Which must be said to be much more complex and articulated than the competition. Both before then and after.
In fact, the others just use the camera. With more or less sophisticated algorithms they identify who they have in front of them. In general it can be good for a rather superficial solution, in fact if we put someone's photo, or if there are particular lighting conditions, the system could fail or at best ask for access via text password.
The one developed by Apple is much more complicated and the demonstration is the "Notch" that is the part occupied on the upper screen that contains some components. Which are three:
A projector of a grid of points (no less than thirty thousand) that invisible to the human eye are drawn on the face of the target.
In order to "see" these points by computer, it is therefore necessary to have an infrared camera, which is not limited to seeing them but also to map them in three-dimensionality. That is, it is as if the face received a cast in real time.
Lastly, an illuminator (also invisible to the human eye) that allows the two previous components to operate even in the dark.
Processing is encrypted and processed by a dedicated part of the System On a Chip. So this data is basically inaccessible by third parties or by apps installed on the phone.
Apple in some slides of the 2017 presentation said that the Face ID compared to the Touch ID was monstrously more secure (I go by heart, so I could be wrong, but it seemed to me we were talking about a million times more precise). So why doesn't Apple seem to believe it?
Until now this technology has been used in iPhones and only in the top of the range iPads. In four years there should have been both an industrial and software improvement but in reality it seems to have crystallized.
On the other hand, we have seen considerable improvements on Touch ID. In fact, in the iPad Air launched in 2020, the sensor has been significantly reduced while remaining equally fast and effective. In laptops it was present before 2017 and since there have been no particular changes, from a design and engineering point of view it may be plausible that it will continue to be proposed.
But it is with the recent 24 ″ iMac with M1 chip of 2021 that is perplexing. The SoC is certainly ready for a facial recognition system. Yet the product not only introduced a touch ID it didn't have before, but this is wireless too! That is, the development team has worked hard and also a lot for this solution, which therefore also goes beyond the economic plan. The maxim " Recycle established technology " does not apply in this case. As if that were not enough, the Face ID on the iMac would have cost less both in development and in final production and therefore on the price of the product itself.
It follows that the only logical answer is that not even Apple believes in this technology.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay