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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:01 AM   #1
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Apple Awarded Patent Detailing Facial Detection and Recognition System for Devices




Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) for a system that allows for a personal computing device such as a Mac or iPhone to be controlled through facial detection and recognition, primarily for security and convenience purposes.

The patent, which was filed back in 2008, introduces itself by describing the problem with the interaction between users and current electronics, stating that devices such as computers inconvenience the user by requiring action in order to continue operating without interruption, along with detailing the security hazard that comes with the inability of passwords to detect a truly authorized user.

The facial recognition and detection system is broken up into three separate parts, and includes a face detection decision application, a face recognition application, and an input/output control manager, all working with an image sensor to determine whether a user is authorized to control a device.
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In a further aspect, a personal media device includes an image sensor that captures one or more images. The device includes a data store having at least one known face pattern that is associated with an authorized user of the media device. The device includes a processor that detects one or more faces in the captured images, recognizes at least one of faces as the face of the authorized user by comparing the one or faces with the data store, and controlling the operation of an application of the device in response to recognizing at least one of the faces as the face of the authorized user.
An incoming phone call is cited as an example scenario that could benefit from a facial recognition and detection system, with the system keeping the screen off and only giving off a ringtone or vibration alert if a user is not authorized compared to displaying a normal call screen for an authorized user. The same principle is applied to an incoming email, where a message can be hidden if an unauthorized user is detected.

The patent also details a number of examples as to what information the facial detection and recognition system cites in authorizing users, with information such as visual facial features and background being matched up against stored information to determine whether control of a device can be accessed or not.

It is unknown exactly how or even whether Apple plans to utilize this technology in its products, but competitors such as Samsung and Google have already touted simple facial recognition as key features in their products. Apple also recently completed its acquisition of 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, and while the system detailed in the patent differs from the firm's image sensing technology, both could be used as part of a bigger initiative by Apple to better integrate human recognition into its products.

This is also not the first time evidence of Apple's interest in face recognition has surfaced, with other patent applications addressing similar concepts while the company acquired Swedish face recognition firm Polar Rose back in 2010.

Article Link: Apple Awarded Patent Detailing Facial Detection and Recognition System for Devices
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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wow, weird.. our phones will know more about us than other people will
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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A 2D face sensor can easily be defeated with a printed picture of the authorized face.

Doing this in 3D would be interesting (then you need a very convincing mask or something to fool it...), but that's not what was patented here. Interesting the patent took so long (and was granted! It's so obvious / unoriginal / so many people have already done it, what on earth is there left to patent?)
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:11 AM   #4
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so im guessing if samsung sgs5 will have retina sensor to unlock the phone will be facing another law suit?
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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I hope this feature needs to permanently connect to Apples Servers to work and will offer a direct upload to the NSA or else it wouldn't make sense.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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I remember someone asking how an iPad with support for multiple users would handle lock screen notifications (among other problems with multiple users)…

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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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This patent was first filed in 2008. Who knows what Apple will do with it.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #9
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You're late on your taxes, iPhone will remained locked
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #10
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Well, now the NSA will have confirmation of who is really using the device they are spying on for sure...
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
A 2D face sensor can easily be defeated with a printed picture of the authorized face.

Doing this in 3D would be interesting (then you need a very convincing mask or something to fool it...), but that's not what was patented here. Interesting the patent took so long (and was granted! It's so obvious / unoriginal / so many people have already done it, what on earth is there left to patent?)
The face unlock on Android can be setup to require a blink and/or a voice and thus printed pictures are defeated.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:39 AM   #12
liavman
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I had a Lenova PC from Vista days that had this feature for logging in. I hope they get sued by Apple. Not for any patent infringement, but for the horrible implementation of it. Yikes, I turned that off on day 1.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
I hope this feature needs to permanently connect to Apples Servers to work and will offer a direct upload to the NSA or else it wouldn't make sense.
I think we're OK. Note items 420 and 422. Same number of digits as letters in NSA and FBI.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:48 AM   #14
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Hello NSA? They will know what you look like..lol.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 09:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some guy View Post
I remember someone asking how an iPad with support for multiple users would handle lock screen notifications (among other problems with multiple users)…

I was semi-forced over the weekend to sit through many Android ads on TV during the ball games. The one where the whole family can share one Galaxy 10.1(?) tablet, and take notes while Facetime-like talking with someone did not go unnoticed. I don't have any use for the multiple-user thing, but being able to do multiple things at the same time like the combinations they had in the ad were not bad ideas. Too bad Apple worries more about the design of icons.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:06 AM   #16
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iPhoto has had some face recognition for some time. Obviously, face recognition can be useful for more than security on mobile devices.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
I hope this feature needs to permanently connect to Apples Servers to work and will offer a direct upload to the NSA or else it wouldn't make sense.
There are a lot more applications to face recognition than conspiracy theories and NSA paranoia. It would extend beyond fingerprint detection; the iPhone would know its owner (or owners!) and only do certain things if the right person is using the iPhone. Face detection together with 3D live image detection have so many applications... Besides that, like someone already mentioned, it would open iOS devices to seamlessly allow multi-user features.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:09 AM   #18
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Soooo...facial recognition research, but we still can't run two apps at the same time on an iPad.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:12 AM   #19
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Hello NSA? They will know what you look like..lol.
They already know what you look like.........
Its called Facebook or Linkedin.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
A 2D face sensor can easily be defeated with a printed picture of the authorized face.

Doing this in 3D would be interesting (then you need a very convincing mask or something to fool it...), but that's not what was patented here. Interesting the patent took so long (and was granted! It's so obvious / unoriginal / so many people have already done it, what on earth is there left to patent?)
2D face sensors have been obsolete for over five years. The simplest, most inaccurate technologies nowadays can spot and reject photos. This is a non-issue, and I'm sure Apple has been developing much better technology since they started dwelling in face recognition.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8281 View Post
Soooo...facial recognition research, but we still can't run two apps at the same time on an iPad.
Yes, and that has been reflecting in poorer and poorer sales for the iPad since, oh, let's see, never.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8281 View Post
Soooo...facial recognition research, but we still can't run two apps at the same time on an iPad.
iOS devices can run multiple apps at the same time but I agree its UI can be improved. You are probably talking about having multiple "windows" on the same screen where each "window" run a different application. I suppose this doesn't attract enough people for Apple to consider implementing - it seems not such a user-friendly feature for most people. If it gets too complicate, Apple will not implement it in a mobile device. If they come up with an easy UI for that, I'm sure they will release it. When I had my iPad jailbroken, I had a tweak installed called Quasar. It did exactly that but it worked just like Windows. I'm sure some people liked it but it wasn't implemented for mobile use. The windows content became too small... I rarely used it.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
A 2D face sensor can easily be defeated with a printed picture of the authorized face.

Doing this in 3D would be interesting (then you need a very convincing mask or something to fool it...), but that's not what was patented here. Interesting the patent took so long (and was granted! It's so obvious / unoriginal / so many people have already done it, what on earth is there left to patent?)
That Primesense acquisition might be for 3D scanning
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:37 AM   #23
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This patent was first filed in 2008. Who knows what Apple will do with it.
Maybe put it into iPhoto. So it recognises which photos contain which person.

Oh wait… They've done that already!
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:44 AM   #24
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what comes to mind when i read this is PrimeSense technologies being used as equivalents to TouchID but for iMacs /MacBooks.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 10:51 AM   #25
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How much do you want to bet it won't make it into any current iOS devices? They'll probably declare that it requires a new chip or feature. I like how the iPad mini 1 is basically the iPad 2, but they've put in features on the mini that are left out on the iPad 2.
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