Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is in one’s best interest to wear masks whenever they go out. The issue is that if you own an iPhone X or newer with Face ID, you will realize that it fails to recognise your face if you are wearing a mask. The bigger issue is that the alternative appearance feature for Face ID which Apple first debuted in iOS 12 does not work with masks either.
If you try and scan your face while wearing a mask during the setup process of Face ID or for alternative appearance, your iPhone will simply show a “Face Obstructed” error as noted by Joanna Stern of WSJ.
Someone had to do it. Face ID doesn’t work with your mask. Or does it??
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) April 8, 2020
When she reached out to Apple, the company said that “Face ID is designed to work with your eyes, nose and mouth visible.” This is because Face ID relies on over 30,000 data points of our face to create a depth map. Since the mask obstructs the mouth, Face ID is not able to create a proper depth map. What this means is that as long as you are wearing a mask, Face ID will simply fail to recognize you. Apple recommends that one uses passcode to unlock their iPhone in such cases.
The world post the COVID-19 pandemic is going to look a bit different, with people wearing masks in public becoming a common sight. Since iPhone X and newer do not come with any other form of biometric authentication, it would mean render Face ID on these devices unusable in most cases which would frustrate a lot of users. If anything, this could just force Apple to reconsider its decision of ditching Touch ID and including an in-display scanner in a future iPhone.
Are you finding Face ID annoying while using the mask? Would you have preferred Touch ID? Please share your thoughts in the comments.[Via WSJ]