As Apple unveiled its new iPhone X yesterday there was one development that left some viewers thoroughly unsettled: Face ID.
The new feature will allow people to unlock the new flagship smartphone just using their face. Apple hailed the technology as the ‘future of how we unlock iPhones and protect sensitive information’.
Describing how Face ID will work, Apple said: “Every time you glance at iPhone X, it detects your face with an IR image, the dot projector projects IR dots, the image and the dot pattern create a mathematical model of your face, which is checked against the one you make when you set it up. And it unlocks the phone in real-time.”
Apple says the 3D front-facing camera learns what users look like and is only inaccurate one in 1 million times.
As well as unlocking the phone, Face ID will allow users to authenticate Apple Pay transactions and create the customisable animated emoji.
Although Apple doesn't seem to have quite perfected the technology yet as its Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, suffered an embarrassing setback demonstrating Face ID during the keynote at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.
In terms of security, the only real information Apple gave was that Face ID is not meant to unlock the phone if your eyes are closed. That did little to quell fears as people took to Twitter to express their concern at this new, seemingly Orwellian, feature.
For some the feature was a harbinger of dystopia
uh cool great iphone X face ID is the beginning of minority report style face scanning, that seems fine ��— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) September 12, 2017
Hot tip: Don't give Apple your face.— Jen Ryall (@jennijenni) September 12, 2017
“The team has worked hard to protect your face data.” I don’t like 2017 anymore.— Annie Park (@annieepark) September 12, 2017
Others envisaged problems with the new technology
"Hold on, I need to make eye contact with my phone until it decides to acknowledge me."— Maggie Mason (@Maggie) September 12, 2017
I'm sure #FaceID is good but tbh I look like 20 different people throughout the day as my makeup fades ��— Hayley Williams (@HayleyWi11iams) September 12, 2017
Or potential abuses
So will holding sunglasses infront of the eyes of a sleeping person be enough to trick #FaceID?— Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) September 12, 2017
Your significant other will be able to unlock your phone as you sleep just by pointing it at your face. #FaceID— Shaffie Waru (@Mwass_) September 12, 2017
Other concerns aired were less germane
iPhone Face ID presentation missed a real opportunity for a cross-promotion appearance with Arya Stark.— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 12, 2017