Apple Explains More on How Face ID Works on iPhone X

Apple this morning has shared a new support document detailing more about Face ID in iPhone X, titled “About Face ID advanced technology”.

Apple says Face ID works best when your iPhone X “is arm’s length or less from your face (25-50 cm away from your face).” When your iPhone X is “intelligently activated” by tapping the screen, raising to wake or when a notification arrives, the TrueDepth camera will capture your face depth data and an infrared image, to then match it against a “stored mathematical representation to authenticate.”

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There are security safeguards in place for Face ID. Apple reiterates the odds of a random person looking at your iPhone X and authenticating is 1 in 1,000,000 versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. Face ID also limits to five failed attempts before a passcode is required to unlock your iPhone.

But here’s where statistical probability changes—when it comes to twins and children under the age of 13:

The statistical probability is different for twins and siblings that look like you and among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate.

Also, a passcode will be required when Face ID hasn’t unlocked your iPhone X in the last 4 hours. If you lose your iPhone X, Find My iPhone Lost Mode can prevent Face ID from being used.

Again, Face ID data remains stored locally on your iPhone X within the Secure Enclave, with no data ever leaving your device or stored in the cloud.

As for the TrueDepth camera system, Apple says it “is safe to use under normal usage conditions,” and “will not cause any harm to eyes or skin, due to its low output.” If iPhone X detects tampering to the infrared emitters during repair or disassembly, the TrueDepth camera may be disabled “for safety reasons.”

Components for Face ID are the rumoured cause for iPhone X production delays, which many hope will ease before the device’s October 27th pre-order date.

[via The Verge]