Apple Earns New US Patent for Facial Recognition

Posted by at 12:58 pm on December 3, 2013

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a new patent on a facial recognition system. The concept was first submitted in 2008, and would let people unlock a device like an iPhone or Mac simply by staring at a built-in camera. The device would store several images of a user, and only grant access if one of them matched. More significantly, Apple notes that the technology could be used to hide or reveal data on a per-case basis, instead of across the board.

One example includes phone calls; if it can’t see a user’s face, an iPhone might only play a ringtone/vibration alert instead of showing caller ID. In another example, incoming email messages might be hidden if recognition fails.

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