The U.S Patent and Trademark Office has today awarded Apple with a new patent titled “Presence Sensing,” that details a more intelligent version of Face ID for Macs with a smart auto-wake feature, 9to5Mac is reporting.
Apple’s invention could use the Mac’s camera to do avoid timing-out into sleep mode when there’s someone in front of the machine, as well as automatically wake and log a user in even if it is in sleep mode.
The source points out that even though Apple uses the generic term ‘computing device’ in its filing, which could apply equally to an iPhone or iPad, the patent is illustrated with a drawing of a computer.
Moreover, the functionality described fits well with Power Nap, a feature that allows existing Macs to perform certain background tasks while sleeping:
This patent would appear to extend Power Nap’s capabilities to using the camera to look out for someone approaching the Mac. If it detects a person, it then powers-up face-recognition functionality to see if it recognizes them as the owner of the Mac. If it does, it could fully wake and unlock the Mac.
As with any other Apple Patent, however, it is impossible to tell whether this advanced functionality will ever be introduced in a future Mac.