FaceID works with closed eyes

Innovations and differences in face recognition

Face recognition on the iPhone: Face ID

Apple first launched its Face-ID face scanner about two years ago with the iPhone X, and is based on it two technologies. In the 3D model, the so-called TrueDepth camera reflects around 30 thousand invisible points on the face and uses infrared rays to create a 3D image of the user. The 2D model runs in parallel, in which the infrared camera coordinates the read-out point grid with its stored image. In this way, Apple compares two full images of the user when it comes to facial recognition and plays it safe. These images are also constantly updated, for example if the smartphone owner suddenly wears different make-up, beards, glasses or a hat. As far as security is concerned: According to the manufacturer, the error rate should be one in a million.

Face recognition from Apple became better and more precise in its next generation of smartphones. The algorithm was accelerated in the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and now in the iPhone 11, so that many former critics were finally convinced by the Face ID. Even in low light, face recognition has been noticeably improved compared to its predecessor. Currently, however, it is rumored that Apple wants to part with face recognition again in order to have a borderless display without a large cutout for the TrueDepth camera to enable. However, this is necessary to accommodate the complex technology behind it in the device. However, it is officially unclear whether and when this will be the case.

Google Pixel 4: Face ID competes with Face ID

The Face-ID now gets competition from Google's current flagship Pixel 4. Here the manufacturer, like Apple, relies on the Infrared technology and has installed two sensors for face recognition in the edge of the screen. They should ensure that the device is unlocked faster and more securely than an iPhone. In contrast to the latter, it doesn't even matter whether you hold the Google Pixel 4 at an angle, rotated or upside down. Also new: You can set yourself whether swiping up is necessary after face recognition, as is the case with the iPhone, or whether you want to land in the menu instead. This option should please many users because the usual manual step is no longer necessary and faster access to the device is allowed.

The whole thing is accelerated even more by an additional one radarthat Google built into its Pixel 4. As your hand approaches the device, the motion sensor detects it and makes the phone ready for unlocking. If you then hold it in front of your face, the infrared sensors are already active and the unlocking process works faster overall than with the iPhone. But there is also a serious shortcoming with this current model. So far, Google has received a lot of criticism for using facial identification as well closed eyes works and therefore a serious one security breach represents. As a result, the manufacturer announced an update that should close this gap soon.