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Iphone Privacy Security Software Apple Hardware Technology

iPhone 8's 3D Face Scanner Will Work In 'Millionths of a Second' (phonearena.com) 154

According to a report by the Korea Herald, Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 will ditch the fingerprint identification in favor of 3D face recognition, which will work "in the millionths of a second." PhoneArena reports: The Samsung Galaxy series were among the first mainstream devices to feature iris recognition, but the speed and accuracy of the current technology leave a lot to be desired, and maybe that is why current phones ship with an eye scanner AND a fingerprint reader. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is expected to make a full dive into 3D scanning. Both Samsung and Apple are rumored to have tried to implement a fingerprint scanner under the display glass, but failed as the technology was not sufficiently advanced. The new iPhone will also introduce 3D sensors on both its front and back for Apple's new augmented reality (AR) platform. This latest report also reveals that Apple will not use curved edges for its iPhone 8 screen, but will instead use a flat AMOLED panel. The big benefit of using AMOLED for Apple thus is not the curve, but its thinner profile compared to an LCD screen.
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iPhone 8's 3D Face Scanner Will Work In 'Millionths of a Second'

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  • ..if I cover up the sensors / lenses.

    • Well that very much depends on how advanced the sensors are, and what you are covering them with...

    • Glasses (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vlad30 ( 44644 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @11:48PM (#55061183)
      Lets see I have reading glasses, long distance , Various sunglasses and protective glasses. I wonder how it will go with all those possibilities ?
      • I'm more concerned about people in cold climates. It's bad enough now where you have to take off a glove to use your phone in the winter. Now to unlock the phone if it's -30 out you have to unprotect your face.

        • It's bad enough now where you have to take off a glove to use your phone in the winter. Now to unlock the phone if it's -30 out you have to unprotect your face.

          Clothing technology has evolved to follow the needs.

          Given that the current solution for capacitive touch screen, is to equip either ski gloves, or under-gloves, with a touch capacitive surface. (basically the index finger works like a stylus),
          I was wondering what the corresponding adaptation would be for iPhone 8 : maybe those novelty ski goggles with a hologram lens - except instead of showing the usual Yeti, tiger or skull, they actually show what your face would look without goggles ?

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            That could work for a signature, or a mouse click. I don't think it would work for fingerprint.

            • I don't think it would work for fingerprint

              Well, the whole thread is about these modern phones which try to avoi non-display area (both TFA's iPhone 8 and also latest by Samsung), not being able to hide a fingerprint scanner under the whole-area screen.

              You can't have fingerprints on device that don't have bezels (yet - see how the technology evolves in the next few years).

              Thus, technology as 3D face scanning are the only biometrics that you can manage to put into such a phone. (cameras are apparently something that manufacturer did manage to cram in

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Trogre ( 513942 )

      or your face. Some of us would rather not remove our motorcycle helmets every time we want to check our phones.

      • Just enroll your face with helmet on. Of course the Stig will be able to unlock your phone, but otherwise it should solve the problem!
      • Some of us would rather not remove our motorcycle helmets every time we want to check our phones.

        So why couldn't you just use the fingerprint scanner? Or the passcode mechanism? Or disable the passcode completely?

        • Some of us would rather not remove our motorcycle helmets every time we want to check our phones.

          So why couldn't you just use the fingerprint scanner? Or the passcode mechanism? Or disable the passcode completely?

          Because obviously he's wearing his riding gloves, so no fingeprint, no typing passcode. Voice? muffled by the fullface helmet. He should have gone for the new Nokia 3310 instead

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Some of us would rather not remove our motorcycle helmets every time we want to check our phones.

            So why couldn't you just use the fingerprint scanner? Or the passcode mechanism? Or disable the passcode completely?

            Because obviously he's wearing his riding gloves, so no fingeprint, no typing passcode. Voice? muffled by the fullface helmet. He should have gone for the new Nokia 3310 instead

            Maybe he could construct some kind of protective cage around himself that would allow him to use his devices in relative safety without requiring a ludicrous amount of safety equipment?

            I'm not sure what you would call the kind of arrangement you'd end up with.

      • Just take a picture of your left ass cheek. ... and don't even TRY to convince us that you don't sport ass-less chaps with that helmet!
    • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:11AM (#55061255)
      I've been wondering what to do with all those write protect labels I've got for my 5 1/4" disks.
    • Billions of instructions per second. Face recognition in millionths of a second. So they're going to accurately recognize a face running only a few thousand CPU instructions? Baloney.

      • Billions of instructions per second. Face recognition in millionths of a second. So they're going to accurately recognize a face running only a few thousand CPU instructions? Baloney.

        It's worse than that. I seriously doubt the phone will be refreshing its' camera image thousands, never mind millions, of times a second. Or continuously storing the camera feed so that they always have an image ready to use (flash memory doesn't like constant re-writes, and then there's the increased power consumption, which is at odds with the "we have made the most anorexic iPhone EVAH!" crap.

        Instead of bragging how you can now make it even thinner, double the thickness - that can give a week of norma

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          It's still worse than that. If you pop your face one meter away from the phone, it takes three microseconds for the light waves to travel that one meter, before it can even BEGIN to capture an image.

      • I wondered the same thing. First it's not even possible in the sense that it takes longer than a microsecond to collect the light for the image. But ignoring that, I suspect that the process is highly parallel and highly local in pixels so perhaps a GPU can do the job making the impossible processing throughtput requirements possible. Even so, The clock rate out of the camera chip itself would seem like a formidable barrier. I wonder if it's possible the camera chip itself has some logic in it. That w

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          What you need to remember is that car keys come in so few variations that burglars can carry a complete set. So don't expect detailed recognition. Probably they'd reject, say, 90% of the people who weren't you. As long as this is only used for local access that's probably "usually good enough".

      • Re:BS speed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Plumpaquatsch ( 2701653 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @10:02AM (#55062695) Journal

        Billions of instructions per second. Face recognition in millionths of a second. So they're going to accurately recognize a face running only a few thousand CPU instructions? Baloney.

        Would "they don't use the CPU" be too obvious an answer?

  • no thanks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobmajdakjr ( 2484288 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @11:34PM (#55061121)
    now police wont even have to physical force you to unlock the phone they can just point it at you gg apple
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Some password to be entered after the face scanner just to make sure it really was the user who wanted access?
      The option to enter a different code to wipe and reset the device too?
      Security services and police will enjoy holding a phone up to get access.
      Walk the suspect in front of their phone and the phone grants access. Fun with the Fifth Amendment.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        the point is to provide ease of use..

        fingerprint scanner works fine enough.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Ease of use is all fun and games until an official asks for a password.
          Always good to give users the option of some extra account protection too.
        • the point is to provide ease of use..

          fingerprint scanner works fine enough.

          I still don't know what was wrong with a pin. Just as quick and secure.

          • Pins are easy to guess though. My nieces at 4 years old could guess them. They spot the finger prints and try them.

            Fingerprint unlock prevents that.

        • Re:no thanks (Score:4, Insightful)

          by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @08:31AM (#55062285) Journal

          Courts have ruled that police can compel you to touch the fingerprint scanner, because that's not "testifying against yourself", whereas they can't compel you to give them the passcode.

          Which doesn't make sense, because in both cases you're giving evidence against yourself, but, as Charles Dickens wrote in Oliver Twist:

          "The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

          "If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass - a idiot"

          Who'd have thought that Mr. Bumble was a feminist? :-)

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      I cam here to post this exact comment.

    • Re:no thanks (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @07:11AM (#55062041)

      now police wont even have to physical force you to unlock the phone they can just point it at you gg apple

      Wait for the next iOS release feature: Sticking your tongue out while trying to unlock the phone wipes all facial recognition data.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not enabling that in a million years. Oh, and beyond the cops, some thug you shoots you dead can point it at your corpse and unlock too? Yeah, fuck that.

  • Is that roughly 2 million millionths of a second? Because camera and laser scanner tech can easily take longer than a millisecond, and then you need processing time. There is no meaningful information in the article. I'm assuming it's some kind of beam scan as opposed to stereo camera vision. I find the idea of a constant scan of my face to be reprehensible to the point I use a tiny piece of electrical tape on my current phone as a manual camera cover.

    If I even get one I'll disable the sensor for un
  • Waiting for someone to somehow spin this piece of tech news over the wannabenazisafespace gate. I give it 30 minutes, cause its late.
  • At least Apple is doing something right, curved displays can go to god damned hell.

    So sick of them being forced on Samsung customers (so to speak) release both types or risk alienating customers

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @11:58PM (#55061209)

      And thank goodness the AMOLED screen means the device can get thinner - if there's one thing we need, it's a thinner phone.

      I can't tell you how many times I've had my iPhone 6S in my pocket and thought "wow, this phone is just SO heavy and SO thick, I really hope I can drop $1200 on something thinner soon".

      • What they should do is use that saved space for more battery. Even better, have an option for a 2-3mm thicker backing with battery being all that.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Until you can put your phone through a typewriter, they aren't thin enough. I can't wait until I can type on a typewriter and have the touchscreen recognize all the key hits. You get the benefits of the nice keyboard, ambient sound of a newsroom in your open office, and are eco friendly by not using any ink.

        Realistically, it's so people can fix more than one iPhone in their pocket. Only suckers have one phone. What would you do if your phone died? You've got to have a backup!

  • People will happily give up DNA for their little gadgets, if Apple/Google/Facebook asks.
    • An iPhone just for men. It loads a picture when you press unlock and waits. Wink wink. A "bricked" phone becomes a "Trumped" phone...Ha...eww. He just grabs his by the battery.
  • I'll still use a PIN

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:06AM (#55061245)

    But it's hard to believe. Apple sold ApplePay to banks and card companies based on the security of their fingerprint scanner. Fingerprints have a hundred year history of being a means of unique biological identification. Facial recognition has a few years of history marked by some successes and some embarrassing failures.

    Are banks and card companies just going to automatically OK a change like that? It's hard to believe.

    Easier to believe they got the in-screen fingerprint scanner to work. Synaptics keeps claiming they have that technology and it works.

    • I really hope so. I love the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 6, works reliably and is very convenient, and it's reasonably secure. Secure enough for plenty of entities who are both serious and knowledgable about security to okay these phones for use in their BYOD environments. But I have some serious doubts about the security of the facial scanner, and It will be a while, if ever, before these phones are approved for BYOD use. Which means I'm not going to get one.

      If they drop the fingerprint scanne
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      But it's hard to believe. Apple sold ApplePay to banks and card companies based on the security of their fingerprint scanner. Fingerprints have a hundred year history of being a means of unique biological identification. Facial recognition has a few years of history marked by some successes and some embarrassing failures.

      Apple sold ApplePay based on the greed of the banks, as the financial institutions accepted the liability, they set the terms.

      Fingerprints, much like faces are quite unique and are very good methods of identification if used properly. The problem you have with facial recognition is the same as exists with fingerprint scanners. Most fingerprint scanners are incredibly easy to fool and shouldn't be relied on for security (this is why we still issue people with security badges and RSA tokens instead of lett

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        It's not just the banks. Apple would also have to convince the public that face recognition is secure and that they can trust it with their finances. The public already thinks fingerprints are a good means of identifying individuals.

        Also "push this button with the finger we have the fingerprint stored for" is a somewhat different sort of action than "my face is somewhere near my phone". They would also have to have some other sort of secondary action like pushing a button to activate authentication mode.

    • But it's hard to believe. Apple sold ApplePay to banks and card companies based on the security of their fingerprint scanner.

      And those same companies have not problem dealing with Android on basic NFC, rolling their own apps some of which don't even require the phone to be unlocked to use.

      Security didn't come into it, it just made for some good marketing to a population which was freaking out at the concept of anything more "secure" than drawing a funny line on a receipt.

    • I agree with the logic that fingerprints have been used for a hundred years for ID and are therefore a tried and true method. By that same logic, though, humans have been using facial recognition for thousands, even millions of years as a means of identification.

      I assume that they're going with a 3D scan because a 2D image is too easily faked? I've read lots of examples of fingerprint scanners getting tricked - anybody have examples of the 3D scan getting tricked?

  • Someone please tell me how I'm supposed to scan my face discreetly in the middle of a meeting? I can do a fingerprint unlock in my pocket or under the table.
    • Are you sure you're "unlocking" in your pocket? And if you're in the kind of meetings I'm in, you could hold it up, make a duckface and take a selfie, and no one else in the meeting would even notice.
    • I had an Android device that did face unlocks (HTC One X Plus) a few years ago. The facial recognition was pretty quick -- lift phone up, and it recognized and unlocked. One could even set an option to blink the eyes as well.

      If this was doable on a phone back in 2014, I'm sure that Apple can do a better job of facial recognition with all the money they can throw at a technology to improve it.

  • Can't we use images of other body parts to unlock the iPhone ? Like boys could unlock their iPhone with a snap of their pe...ctoral muscles. :-P

  • by kenwd0elq ( 985465 ) <kenwd0elq@engineer.com> on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:12AM (#55061345)

    So, if I'm in an auto accident, or I trip and fall face-first into the sidewalk, or if I'm assaulted and have a broken nose, a black eye and blood on my face, will the "facial recognition" still unlock my phone and let me call the cops?

    Facial recognition for anything really urgent sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Counterpoint: Working rather ambitiously, you believe you can clear a jam in the woodchipper without pausing the ravenous machine. You lose your footing, unfortunately, and your natural reflex to brace with your hands... well, they're quite mangled now. You can still unlock your phone with your distressed, yet functional face and call EMS. Checkmate.

    • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:56AM (#55061415)

      So, if I'm in an auto accident, or I trip and fall face-first into the sidewalk, or if I'm assaulted and have a broken nose, a black eye and blood on my face, will the "facial recognition" still unlock my phone and let me call the cops?

      Facial recognition for anything really urgent sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

      Yes and people invented such scenarios to decry the use of fingerprint scanners to unlock your device. The idiots of the world still seem oblivious to the reality that if you can't use the fingerprint scanner for whatever reason then you type in your passcode instead, likewise if you can't use the facial recognition or don't want to use it then you type in your passcode instead.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Facial recognition for anything really urgent sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

      How exactly is fingerprint recognition any different? Are you implying that you believe that will be the only option? Despite various implementations of biometric scanning to unlock devices the password method still exists.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:19AM (#55061789)

      Erh... I don't know about the US, but phones in Europe MUST allow calling emergency services even when locked. In other words, if you find a phone, dialing the local equivalent of 911 must be possible, provided that thing has battery. No matter whether it's locked, or in what way it is locked.

      • by dfm3 ( 830843 )
        Yes, it's the same in the US, too. I have an old iPhone that is no longer on a plan, which I use as a music player but it cannot send/receive data or make calls. However, in an emergency, it could be used to call 911 even from the lock screen.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      So, if I'm in an auto accident, or I trip and fall face-first into the sidewalk, or if I'm assaulted and have a broken nose, a black eye and blood on my face, will the "facial recognition" still unlock my phone and let me call the cops?

      Facial recognition for anything really urgent sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

      Probably, facial recognition with consumer grade equipment is notoriously unreliable. Hell, Quasimodo could probably open your phone.

    • or if I'm assaulted and have a broken nose, a black eye and blood on my face, will the "facial recognition" still unlock my phone and let me call the cops?

      As one of my friend's Facebook updates last week comically showed, at least on a Surface Pro, no, blood on your face does not let you unlock the screen :-)

      However, what kind of phone do you have that requires you to unlock in order to make an emergency call? I don't think I've seen one like that before.

    • by Isaac-Lew ( 623 )
      Where I'm from, the cops are probably the reason you would have a broken nose, black eye & blood on your face. That is, if you're still breathing.

      https://www.justice.gov/crt/pr... [justice.gov]

    • Don't be retarded. Facial recognition is just one of many possible forms of authentication, the others being the fingerprint reader, and of course your passcode.
  • 1,337,000... (Score:4, Informative)

    by AdamStarks ( 2634757 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:14AM (#55061349)

    millionths of a second, to be precise.

  • Really, if it worked in 10ms it would be more than fast enough.
  • by Cesare Ferrari ( 667973 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:54AM (#55061409) Homepage

    Assuming it has to gather light, i'd be very surprised if the sensor will collect enough info in a millionth of a second to get any idea what I look like. I'd also be surprised if a few thousand clock cycles is enough computation to decide if I am who I am.

    If I wanted a quick unlock mechanism, i'd go with some sort of RFID in a wrist band that if you are wearing would allow the unlock without pin, as this seems pretty simple understandable technology which is already available.

    • I'd also be surprised if a few thousand clock cycles is enough computation to decide if I am who I am.

      Of course you are who you are, it's if you are who you are supposed to be.

  • If my phone is robbed and the attacker has some bio-metric information on me, they won't be able to unlock my device. Heck if I had this new 'face-scan' tech, a Colombian drug lord could just kill me, then scan my face, instant profit.
  • "but its thinner profile compared to an LCD screen. "

    The thinner they get, the fatter our cases get, otherwise they fall on the floor twice a day.

  • If thieves or border police is forcing you to unlock the phone, there is a quick way to disable the face recognize and unlock feature.

    Just swipe on the screen quickly S-O-S 3 times and press the power , power+volume-up, power+volume-down three times, make a frownie face, shake your head left to right three times, (customizable to up-down motion in India). The phone will go into secure unlock model

    You have one millionth of a second to do all this.

  • It's 2017! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @06:37AM (#55061941) Homepage Journal

    This time you won't be holding it wrong, you'll be looking at it funny...

  • How does it work in the dark? No light on the front unless the screen can fully illuminate
  • You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

  • Cameras that work at 1/1,000,000 exposure time are a whole different beast. Maybe once the image is taken, it can be processed at that speed, but it's meaningless to claim it works that fast.
  • There must be more to it, someone points my phone at my face and it unlocks. That's not very secure

  • Pssst ... light travels only 1 meter in 3 microseconds. I don't think a goddam phone can capture an image, let alone process it, that fast.

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