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MacRumors
Feb 11, 2013, 01:40 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/11/apple-exploring-alternatives-to-traditional-passwords-with-photo-identification-as-authentication/)


With Apple's interest in a smart watch (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/10/nyt-apple-is-working-on-a-curved-glass-smart-watch/) gaining renewed attention, there has been a considerable amount of speculation (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/08/former-apple-human-interface-developer-speculates-on-future-iwatch/) about what the company might try to do with such a device. Some of the speculation has pointed out that a watch could provide a good alternative to traditional passcodes by using watch proximity to grant a user access to systems and apps.

Apple is apparently looking at other alternatives for traditional password security as well, as highlighted in a patent application published late last week and spotted by Patently Apple (http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/02/apple-introduces-a-new-image-based-authentication-system-for-unlocking-macs-and-idevices.html).

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/02/applesecuritypatent.jpg
The patent application describes a system that would display one or more photos stored on a device and ask the owner to identify them. The document mentions voice entry as one method of identification, using the example of a photo from the owner's Contacts database.For example, after displaying an image that depicts a face of the user's sister Jane, the user may speak aloud, "Jane" ... Alternatively, step 120 might also include displaying ... a set of names. Then, as part of step 130, the user selects one of the displayed names that the user believes identifies the object.The patent application suggests that the user would be able to choose the number of photos required to access the device, in the same way they already choose between simple and complex passcodes on an iPhone or iPad.

Apple previously filed for a patent (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/29/apples-multi-user-face-recognition-plans-for-ipad-revealed-in-patent/) on an approach similar to Android's Face Unlock feature, where the phone unlocks when it recognizes the face of the owner through the front-facing camera, though it was discovered soon after it debuted that the system could be easily fooled (http://www.soyacincau.com/2011/11/12/clarification-on-the-ice-cream-sandwich-face-unlock-video/) by using a photo of the owner displayed on another handset. Additional innovations such as a "Liveness Check" (http://www.droid-life.com/2012/06/29/google-adds-liveness-check-option-to-face-unlock-in-jelly-bean-requires-blinking/) requiring that the user blink for Face Unlock to function have, however, been developed to increase security.

Article Link: Apple Exploring Alternatives to Traditional Passwords with Photo Identification as Authentication (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/11/apple-exploring-alternatives-to-traditional-passwords-with-photo-identification-as-authentication/)



underkuerbis
Feb 11, 2013, 01:43 PM
Geez, I'm not good with names...
I don't approve ;)

Rudy69
Feb 11, 2013, 01:44 PM
Get in an accident, get disfigured....can't use your phone :(

charlituna
Feb 11, 2013, 01:49 PM
Geez, I'm not good with names...

I don't approve!

Well i doubt this would be the only option.

I have no real issue with Apple providing a variety of schemes we can use, singularly or in a stack of our choice.

bradgfromboo
Feb 11, 2013, 01:49 PM
Keep copying those android features apple you got this!

The Phazer
Feb 11, 2013, 01:59 PM
I really can't think of any scenario in which this would work.

I wouldn't want my photos displayed without my passcode being entered. That's one of the things it's there to prevent.

Unggoy Murderer
Feb 11, 2013, 02:21 PM
The Android Face Unlock feature is pathetic. I could use my friends Facebook profile picture to unlock it.

I still can't see Apple's system being fool proof. I mean, what if you know a lot about that particular person, like you're a family member or something. At this time, there isn't any better options than the passcode unlock, or Android's "join the dots" thing. (However, you can look for pattern smudges, tap marks on the screen)

Mr. Retrofire
Feb 11, 2013, 02:25 PM
Get in an accident, get disfigured....can't use your phone :(
In that case, you have probably more important problems.

aloharaz
Feb 11, 2013, 02:26 PM
Remember this? "My voice is my password" :D

appletoandroid
Feb 11, 2013, 02:40 PM
Here comes Apple, late to the party as usual. But they'll still call it innovative b/c it's Apple.

DJAKO
Feb 11, 2013, 02:57 PM
Here comes Apple, late to the party as usual. But they'll still call it innovative b/c it's Apple.

They will just do it better, per usual.

ChristianJapan
Feb 11, 2013, 03:04 PM
Remember this? "My voice is my password" :D

... As long you don't have a heavy cold and can't speak clearly ... Or in a noisy environment ... Or a very silent one ...

Don't think voice is a good option; for login.

Images and gestures are more flexible.

pubwvj
Feb 11, 2013, 03:06 PM
This idea is very prone to error. I would simply rather remember my passwords.

DJAKO
Feb 11, 2013, 03:09 PM
... As long you don't have a heavy cold and can't speak clearly ... Or in a noisy environment ... Or a very silent one ...

Don't think voice is a good option; for login.

Images and gestures are more flexible.

How would a very silent environment be bad in your example? :p

Nimrad
Feb 11, 2013, 03:14 PM
People keep forgetting Apple's policy. They have tons of patents that never make it to the product because of their very high requirements. This will probably not be one the (I like to say) few mistakes as Google already showed us how not to do this.

ChristianJapan
Feb 11, 2013, 03:15 PM
How would a very silent environment be bad in your example? :p

Think about you are in a school class or church and while session is going on you want to check email. I'm sure many people will look at you because you break the silence while unlocking your phone. :p

nostaws
Feb 11, 2013, 03:15 PM
Remember this? "My voice is my password" :D

Actually, I am pretty sure that it was "My voice is my passport. Verify me."

That was the problem in the movie. How do you get someone to casually say "passport."

Renzatic
Feb 11, 2013, 03:16 PM
In that case, you have probably more important problems.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3018396/elephantman.jpg

All I WANT TO DO IS GET IN MY ICLOUD ACCOUNT, APPLE! I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I AM A HUMAN BEING! I AM A MAN!

...wow. I'm all about quoting the classics today.

Verbatim Cookie
Feb 11, 2013, 03:23 PM
For example, after displaying an image that depicts a face of the user's sister Jane, the user may speak aloud, "Jane, you ignorant slut" ...
FTFY :p

komodrone
Feb 11, 2013, 03:29 PM
(delete)

Razeus
Feb 11, 2013, 03:46 PM
They are just NOW doing this? No wonder The Woz says they are falling behind.

coolspot18
Feb 11, 2013, 03:49 PM
... As long you don't have a heavy cold and can't speak clearly ... Or in a noisy environment ... Or a very silent one ...

A cold does not affect voice biometrics; voice verification would still work.

olowott
Feb 11, 2013, 04:24 PM
late to the party - thats true

we just make it better and way cooler:cool:

Matthew Yohe
Feb 11, 2013, 04:44 PM
Keep copying those android features apple you got this!

Which feature is this copying?

ArtOfWarfare
Feb 11, 2013, 05:09 PM
This article seems a lot more front page worthy than the "This is an iPhone 5 clone, not an iPhone 5S prototype" article.

damir00
Feb 11, 2013, 05:35 PM
S3 (at least) has had facial-recognition unlocking from launch.

It works quite a bit better than I had expected.

jm001
Feb 11, 2013, 06:19 PM
Here comes Apple, late to the party as usual. But they'll still call it innovative b/c it's Apple.

Wait a minute you mean Android has that feature of using a smart watch to unlock a smart phone? Prove it.

Or the use of photos and matching information to unlock the phone? Prove it. I haven't heard of this stuff with Android. This IS innovation. Read the whole article instead of the title before commenting. Now go back to your corner and continue connecting dots.

darklyt
Feb 11, 2013, 06:21 PM
The patent application was submitted Q3 2011, not recently. It's not like patents get published immediately.

DJAKO
Feb 11, 2013, 06:43 PM
Think about you are in a school class or church and while session is going on you want to check email. I'm sure many people will look at you because you break the silence while unlocking your phone. :p
Well if that was the ONLY way to unlock your phone, then I guess you have a point.

neott
Feb 11, 2013, 06:58 PM
Rectal Scanning its the future.


Retinal, Retinal scanning damn it......

Now you mention it, I might be onto something here.... hmmm <Chin Scratch>

A Hebrew
Feb 11, 2013, 07:24 PM
This does not seem as secure as a 4 digit pin.

theanimaster
Feb 11, 2013, 08:37 PM
Wait a minute you mean Android has that feature of using a smart watch to unlock a smart phone? Prove it.

Or the use of photos and matching information to unlock the phone? Prove it. I haven't heard of this stuff with Android. This IS innovation. Read the whole article instead of the title before commenting. Now go back to your corner and continue connecting dots.

It isn't innovation -- I've seen it used before -- ON FACEBOOK. When I had to reset my password it showed me a pic in my gallery and asked me to identify the person. Immediately I thought it was pretty stupid, because ANY of my relatives -- OR ACQUAINTANCES could have guessed who they were!!! Course, there were additional steps, but still, definitely something you can't use alone. And how irritating would it be to have to do a multi-step security thing?

I'd put my trust in written signature security instead -- but Apple doesn't use a stylus. Only problem with written signature (assuming it recognises the gesture speed etc etc perfectly) is that some people have really short, easy-to-copy signatures where acceleration and speed of the strokes won't do much for authentication.

----------

Rectal Scanning its the future.


Retinal, Retinal scanning damn it......

Now you mention it, I might be onto something here.... hmmm <Chin Scratch>

Watching too much Monsters VS Aliens, aren't you?

gorskiegangsta
Feb 11, 2013, 09:15 PM
Get in an accident, get disfigured....can't use your phone :(

Get in an accident, lose your fingers... can't type in your password :(

..that can happen too.

It isn't innovation -- I've seen it used before.

This is the same argument people bring against AirPlay. Bla, bla, it isn't innovative - DLNA existed way before it... not willing to acknowledge that no regular consumer knew of it or how to use it. Finding a way of making technology, or some aspect of technology, easy to use and/or easily accessible to mass market is innovation in and of itself.

darkslayer13
Feb 11, 2013, 09:16 PM
steal friends phone --> need face to unlock phone --> use facebook photo of friend in front of camera --> unlocked.

soooooooo why is face recognition secure again?

gorskiegangsta
Feb 11, 2013, 09:40 PM
steal friends phone --> need face to unlock phone --> use facebook photo of friend in front of camera --> unlocked.

soooooooo why is face recognition secure again?

This is one of the main issues I have with the very idea of "face unlock" concept.

Another thing is that faces aren't super unique and unchanging like fingerprints or retinas. People change hairstyles, put on makeup, shave/change facial hair styles, etc.. Unless the technology is perfected to the point where the device will properly recognize its owner regardless of changed style of the owner, or ambient lighting conditions, this won't be able to serve as a primary unlock mechanism.

kjs862
Feb 11, 2013, 10:30 PM
What about finger prints? Seems logical with a touchscreen abd trackpads on laptops.

SILen(e
Feb 11, 2013, 11:19 PM
Keep copying those android features apple you got this!

Patently Apple makes it a bit hard to see the date when a patent they mention has been filed, but the "Face Unlock" patent that Apple has applied for has been filed in Q1 of 2011 - while the Patent of Google is from September 2011.

macs4nw
Feb 12, 2013, 01:53 AM
Here comes Apple, late to the party as usual. But they'll still call it innovative b/c it's Apple.

Not because it's APPLE, but because they'll probably just implement it much better, taking their time to do it 'right'.

mw360
Feb 12, 2013, 03:00 AM
Get in an accident, get disfigured....can't use your phone :(

Hands up who actually read and comprehended the article...

Mr.damien
Feb 12, 2013, 03:45 AM
The only way to make it secure is to use 2 camera instead of one. This way you can see if it's a 3D face or a picture.

When Apple will come with a bullet proof solution, Android community will say it was first on android, despite it doesn't work just like usual and that this feature is just now hidden because so easy to break.

Just like Microsoft said they were first with their "tactile" tablet and phone.

It's funny to see how close are now microsoft and linux community. They are just the same, using the same arguments all the time.

Lately, the iPad mini is just the last example. All are saying that Apple did copy the Android world because it's a smaller tablet, but the facts are, they got the good form factors that all androids tablets misses for years on this market. Now LG and Samsung announces 8" tablet like Apple.

BSben
Feb 12, 2013, 05:10 AM
steal friends phone --> need face to unlock phone --> use facebook photo of friend in front of camera --> unlocked.

soooooooo why is face recognition secure again?

Did you actually read the article?
The use of a camera is not mentioned once, in this case the user is required to recognise a picture, not the other way round.

mw360
Feb 12, 2013, 06:23 AM
Nobody else thinks its sad that something as basic as this is being patented? Its a cute idea, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere was having the exact same idea every day. It seems ludicrous to assign exclusive rights to one party for 20 years.

Mattjeff
Feb 12, 2013, 06:43 AM
Get in an accident, lose your fingers... can't type in your password :(

..that can happen

I have typed my password in with my chin/knuckle many times :) when it is cold you get creative.

gnasher729
Feb 12, 2013, 07:43 AM
S3 (at least) has had facial-recognition unlocking from launch.

It works quite a bit better than I had expected.

If you read the article, that is the kind of facial recognition that can be fooled by a photo of you, taken with a phone camera. So I take a photo of you with my camera, grab your phone, and then unlock it by holding my phone showing your picture to the camera of your phone. Or your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband who still has a photo of you can unlock your phone. Same with your current girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband.

So the question: How secure do you want it to be? I'd suggest a bit more security than just comparing the photo, for example to use the video camera to make sure the face is not motionless (at least they would now need a video of you to unlock your phone). Next, unlock only "safe" features. Like making cheap phone calls, but for long distance calls you need a password.


Nobody else thinks its sad that something as basic as this is being patented? Its a cute idea, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere was having the exact same idea every day. It seems ludicrous to assign exclusive rights to one party for 20 years.

The ideas I mentioned above surely should be impossible to patent, because they are obvious (if it takes me two minutes to come up with this then it is obvious), and already published (I just published it!!!). The implementation might involve something clever that can be patented, but then another implementation can do the same things doing something different.

knightlie
Feb 12, 2013, 08:23 AM
steal friends phone --> need face to unlock phone --> use facebook photo of friend in front of camera --> unlocked.

soooooooo why is face recognition secure again?

Does anyone here ever actually read ANY part of the articles they comment on?

Evangelion
Feb 12, 2013, 08:34 AM
Is it just me, or has reading-comprehension taken a nosedive recently? Sheesh people, this feature is NOT the same thing as the "face unlocking" in Android! In Android, the phone looks at your face with the camera and unlocks the device. In this system the device shows you pictures of people in your photo-library and asks you to identify them.

carlgo
Feb 12, 2013, 10:18 AM
Passwords are totally annoying and the complex ones are unnecessary for most people. Anything to simplify or eliminate passwords would be appreciated.

People have to deal with so many complex passwords now that they keep them written down nearby. This is actually less safe than just remembering one simple password.

rMBP13
Feb 12, 2013, 10:21 AM
This is a very interesting development. Keep it up!

whooleytoo
Feb 12, 2013, 12:51 PM
The unlock screen should be a mini-game. Say.. "collect the balls in the correct order to unlock your phone". It might not help you unlock your device any quicker, but at least it'd be fun! :p

C DM
Feb 12, 2013, 01:41 PM
Is it just me, or has reading-comprehension taken a nosedive recently? Sheesh people, this feature is NOT the same thing as the "face unlocking" in Android! In Android, the phone looks at your face with the camera and unlocks the device. In this system the device shows you pictures of people in your photo-library and asks you to identify them.This. People barely read a headline and then jump in to comment right away (clearly not even really knowing what the article is about, let alone even looking at any of the comments that have already been made). :rolleyes:

Nermal
Feb 12, 2013, 02:25 PM
This could be problematic if you have contact pictures synched from somewhere, e.g. from Google. When one of your friends changes their picture, you might have no clue who it is. For example, pictures in my current contact list include:


A dog
A kangaroo
A drawing of Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation
An axe
A Star Trek logo
A Diablo logo
A cartoon character of some sort


While some of my friends use photos of themselves, a lot of them don't. If the seven friends above all changed their pictures then I'd be completely lost.

curmudgeon32
Feb 12, 2013, 05:26 PM
I'm more interested in what looks from the sketch to be multiple user accounts on an iDevice. THAT would be really useful.

aloharaz
Feb 12, 2013, 06:10 PM
Actually, I am pretty sure that it was "My voice is my passport. Verify me."

That was the problem in the movie. How do you get someone to casually say "passport."

"my voice is my password" it was a feature in Mac OS 9. You could log in to your account by saying that phrase into the microphone.

you are talking about a movie.

APlotdevice
Feb 13, 2013, 03:09 AM
Obviously this wouldn't stop your family and friends from accessing your phone, but so long as you're only concerned with keeping out strangers this could be a really nifty solution.

Oh, and this reminds me that I need to add more photos to my contacts list.