What is Face ID
If you own iPhone X,
you may be unlocking your phone by just looking at it.
This new technology to unlock your phone by just looking at the phone is referred as ‘FaceID’.
Apple has said that “FaceID is the future of how we will unlock our smartphones and protect our sensitive information”.
Before discussing ‘How secure is iPhone X Face Id ’ let us understand the technology behind this innovative concept.
Apple and New Technology
Apple is known for introducing new technology and eliminating features that Apple users are used to, if these brave decisions will make their users usability more enjoyable.
The company with the same trend has omitted the ‘Circular Home button’ and the ‘Touch Id’ and has introduced ‘Face ID’ to unlock the new version of iPhone – iPhoneX.
How does iPhone FaceID technology work?
Just like password,
Just like pattern lock,
The user will initially enrol his or her face for FaceID.
Every time the user wants to unlock the phone, the technology compares the face with the enrolled face and determines if both are similar.
If both are similar, the phone is unlocked.
How to enrol Face ID in iPhone X?
If you did not enrol the process while setting up your iPhone X, follow the below steps
1. Tap Settings
2. Tap Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode
3. Under FaceID, Tap ‘Enroll Face’
4. Click on ‘Get Started’ and follow the on-screen prompts
5. Position your face within a frame, when requested
6. Slowly Move your head around so that your face can be properly scanned
That’s it your Face iD is enrolled.
According to Apple, after enrolling your FaceID, if you change your hairstyle, wear a hat, wear a cooler or even if you grow or shave your beard, Apple will recognize your Face.
What is the Technology behind Face ID ?
iPhone has few new hardware like Sensor, Proximity and Ambient light sensors, Infrared camera, Flood illuminator and a Dot projector located in the tiny area at the top of the display.
This new hardware plays a major role in executing FaceID.
Apple’s FaceID technology is made possible by a new camera called ‘True Depth camera’.
This new camera is a 7MP front-facing ‘selfie camera’ integrated with an infrared emitter, which projects over 30,000 dots in a predefined pattern onto the user’s face.
These dots are photographed by the infrared camera dedicated for this purpose.
These IR images are sent to the ‘Neural Engine’ processor to create a mathematical 3D model of your face. This 3D model is considered as ‘Verification image’ which is sent to iPhone’s algorithms and compared with the ‘enrolment image’ you already stored.
This 3D model is considered as ‘Verification image’ which is sent to iPhone’s algorithms and compared with the ‘enrolment image’ you already stored.
The processor compares the similarity between the Verification image and the Enrollment image based on a comparison score. If the comparison score is higher than the predefined threshold, the phone authenticates your identity.
“Internally it computes a score between 0 and 1,” says Apple.
“If it’s closer to 1 that means it’s the same fingerprint or face. If it’s closer to 0, it’s not the same person.”
Different condition captures different image quality
Due to different capture condition and quality of light, the Enrollment image and Verification image may not be identical.
To overcome this practical issue, iPhone uses a threshold level to conclude if both the images are significantly different.
Under some conditions, the comparison score of 0.7 may be enough and Apple says that this value is not fixed.
“If you are just unlocking the phone, the internal threshold which your mobile phone company uses could be relatively low they could set it at 0.5 or 0.6,” says Jain, also said that the number may be high in certain contexts, like when you are buying expensive products. “If this is a secure transaction when you are buying a $10,000 necklace at Tiffany’s, maybe the threshold will go up to 0.9.”
These calculations are carried out in fraction of seconds as the power of iPhoneX processor is very fast.
The Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller says that the Neural Engine used in iPhoneX “can perform over 600 billion operations per second, and it’s used to do real-time processing of Face ID recognition.”
Quality of Facial Map
“We use the image and the dot pattern to push through neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face,” Apple’s Phil Schiller explained.
A mathematical model of users face is created and this facial map quality increases each time you look at the phone.
Your phone will recognize you even if you wear a cooler, wear a hat or even if you change your hairstyle.
FaceID works even in dark
“Infrared light is a non-visible illuminator, which will compensate for the effect of low background or ambient light, and very high or bright sunlight,” Jain explains. “So infrared illumination helps in enabling the face recognition to work in non-favourable conditions.”
Apple has confirmed that Face ID is sophisticated enough to work even in dark with a new technology called Flood Illuminator.
Does iPhone X Face ID work for Payment?
Without any doubt, iPhone X Face ID can be used to pay online via Apple Pay, but the process may be little different.
If the vendor already supports ‘NFC payments’ and ‘Apple pay’ there is nothing different from the vendor side.
How to pay using iPhone X
Just double tap the button on the side of the phone and then look at your phone to authenticate, once authentication is over, hold it near the payment terminal.
The payment process will be completed.
Is iPhone Face Id Secure?
According to Apple, with the FaceID, the chance of a random person unlocking your phone with his face may be one in 1 in 10,00,000
Your phone cannot be unlocked while you are sleeping, as user’s eyes have to be open to unlock the phone.
Face Mask can’t spoof the system as the ‘Infra Red camera’ captures sub-surface features from the skin.
The biometric data of facial map is never sent to Apple Server and is always stored safely on the user’s device.
“Nothing has ever been simpler, more natural and effortless,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “Face ID is the future of how we unlock our smartphones and protect our sensitive information.”
Face ID Technology cant be spoofed with photographs
Schiller said Apple also worked hard to ensure the technology “can’t be easily spoofed by things like photographs. They’ve even gone and worked with professional mask makers and makeup artists in Hollywood to protect against these attempts to beat Face ID,” he said.
The FaceID can be deactivated while you handover to anyone by squeezing the buttons on both sides.
“Also, if you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when [you]hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID,” Federighi explained.
iPhone X Face ID is better than any other Android Phone
Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 Facial recognition is not secure.
It is easy to fool the phone with a simple photo. Many Technical experts have proved this.
You can’t cheat iPhone FaceID , as it has incorporated a technology developed by an Israeli Machine Learning Company called Realface.
The Israeli company uses an advanced facial recognition technology which creates a 3D representation of the person’s face. In case of Samsung, the Facial recognition software creates
In case of Samsung, the Facial recognition software creates 2D image of the user and thus it is easy to cheat the device.
According to Realface, the technology is “anti-spoof face recognition”.
And it says the success rate of its Facial recognition technology is 99.67% which means literally humans can’t cheat the FaceID.