The biometrics industry is, for the most part, grateful for Apple’s promotion of facial recognition technology, suggest the responses to one of the most timely questions in FindBiometrics’ latest Year in Review survey.
Question Nine of the survey asked whether respondents agreed with the statement, “Apple’s continued commitment to facial recognition has helped demystify face biometrics for consumers.” A full three-quarters of respondents agreed, with 22 percent indicating that they “Strongly agree”. Only six percent strongly disagreed.
The context is, of course, Face ID, the 3D facial recognition system used for screen unlocking and other user authentication applications on Apple’s latest smartphones. Apple actually launched Face ID in late 2017, with its iPhone X device; but it’s only in last year’s iPhone lineup that Apple made the definitive switch away from its Touch ID fingerprint scanning system, abandoning the latter in favor of Face ID in all of its new iPhones.
As the majority of FindBiometrics Year in Review respondents have indicated, the general feeling is that Apple’s championing of Face ID has helped to familiarize consumers with facial recognition technology, showing them that it isn’t simply some kind of Orwellian surveillance technology but rather a means of making mobile security more convenient. And that has had ripple effects throughout the mobile industry, with other smartphone makers racing to embrace the technology in their own devices.
There’s surely still more to demystify: A lot of consumers – probably most – still may not understand why Apple’s infrared, 3D face scanning system is so much more secure than, say, a 2D Face Unlock system that can be spoofed with a black and white photograph. But for most, this is still a new technology, and they’ve only just started getting acquainted with it – thanks in large part to Apple.
January 18, 2019 – by Alex Perala