For its redesigned iPhone, set to go on sale later this year, Apple is testing an improved security system that allows users to log in, authenticate payments, and launch secure apps by scanning their face, according to people familiar with the product. This is powered by a new 3-D sensor, added the people, who asked not to be identified discussing technology that’s still in development. The company is also testing eye scanning to augment the system, one of the people said.
The sensor’s speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user’s face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face. The feature is still being tested and may not appear with the new device. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the person.
The intention sounds promising, but I have concerns about this. If true, Apple would be putting their entire security technology in one basket and security reputation on the line. There would be a lot riding on this, especially with their Apple Pay initiative.
So far, facial recognition has been proven insecure and easily fooled by printed selfies. While Samsung S8's Iris Scanner is in improvement in technology, the requirement of facing the phone at a very specific angle and distance weakens the user experience.
Hopefully Apple can pull it off.