Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200356761) that hints at Face ID possibly coming to the Mac and other devices. The patent is dubbed “personal computing device control using face detection and recognition.”
Face ID is a facial recognition system designed and developed by Apple for the iPhone and iPad Pro. It’s a successor to Touch ID.
The new patent filing involves systems and methods for control of a personal computing device based on usr face detection and recognition techniques. So why do I think it involves the Mac?
In the patent filing, Apple says the “personal computing device” in question is “any computing device or computer-controlled device capable of interacting or interfacing with a person. “ That includes “include personal computers, consumer electronics, personal media devices, personal communications devices, personal display devices, vehicle control systems, financial transactions systems, and any like computing device capable of interfacing with a person.”
Apple adds that consumer electronic devices may include televisions, stereo systems, video gaming systems, cameras, video cameras, desktop computers, laptop computers, portable computers, workstations, server interfaces, and handheld computers.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that one problem with existing personal computing devices is that such devices often perform certain functions regardless of whether users are passively interfacing with the devices. For example, a computer may automatically activate a screen saver every five minutes regardless of whether a user is viewing its display screen.
This means a user is often inconveniently required to actively perform an interaction with the computer every few minutes to prevent the initiation of the screen saver. Apple says there’s a need for providing a user interface for a personal computing device that is capable of determine when a passive user is present without the need for active user interaction with the device.
The tech giant says another problem with personal computing devices is that such devices often aren’t good at determining whether certain users have the authority to perform certain functions of the personal computing device. For example, to access a restricted computer application, a user may be required to actively enter a password. Apple says there’s need for a more efficient and reliable user access control mechanism for personal computing devices and evidently is interested in expanding Face ID behind the iPhone and iPad.