Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry with the iPhone 5s and its Touch ID fingerprint authentication mechanism. It then repeated the same feat by introducing Face ID with the iPhone X, but it is still limited to iPhones and iPads. Now, it is planning to bring Face ID to Macs.
The Cupertino-based tech giant took three years to bring Touch ID the MacBook Pro after the technology was first released in 2013. Face ID was introduced with the iPhone X in 2017, and it has been three years since, but we still haven’t seen it hitting Macs and MacBooks. However, we know that Apple is working on it, thanks to a new patent filed by Apple with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office).
The patent describes Face ID as ‘Light Recognition Module for Determining a User of a Computing Device.’ It starts the patent description by mentioning that users do a lot more complicated work on a computer than they do on a smartphone and save sensitive information, which means that the data needs to be stored securely. To do that, a computer or a laptop would need a better user authentication mechanism.
Apple explains how the light pattern recognition module can be fitted above a desktop computer’s or laptop’s screen. The mechanism would consist of a light emitter and a light detector as well. All these components could be used to project a predetermined pattern of light onto a user’s face and then detecting the pattern of light caused by the reflection from the object (or a user’s face).
In short, the patent is describing the Face ID mechanism for iMacs and MacBooks, and how it can be placed inside “a circle, a curvilinear shape, an ellipse, a notch, a polygonal shape, a series of polygonal shapes, or the like.” While Apple goes to great lengths to explain the whole mechanism, we can surely say that the company is working hard to bring Face ID to Macs.
While Touch ID is already quite easy, fast, and secure to use on a MacBook, it might be hard for Apple to implement it in an iMac since it would require the company to fit the Touch ID sensor into the Magic Keyboard. So, switching to Face ID would be better as it also allows additional features such as Memojis, face tracking in 3D, and brings other such functions to Macs.
However, we can’t be too sure that Apple would bring Face ID to iMacs and MacBooks. The Cupertino-based tech firm files for hundreds of patents each year, and very few of them make it to real products. So, don’t get your hopes too high to only see them getting dashed when a new iMac is released in the next few months.[Source: USPTO]