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Apple Says Face ID Didn't Fail Onstage During iPhone X Keynote

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,014
12,553



During an iPhone X demo conducted by Craig Federighi in yesterday's keynote, Face ID appeared to fail to recognize his face, leading to doubts about the feature's reliability and accuracy.


There was a lot of speculation about just what went wrong on stage, ranging from a Face ID failure to a passcode lock, and according to Apple, it was the latter issue that caused the device not to work properly on stage. In a statement provided to Yahoo's David Pogue, Apple says the device locked after several people interacted with it ahead of Federighi, causing it to require a passcode to unlock.
Tonight, I was able to contact Apple. After examining the logs of the demo iPhone X, they now know exactly what went down. Turns out my first theory in this story was wrong--but my first UPDATE theory above was correct: "People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time," says a rep, "and didn't realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren't Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode." In other words, "Face ID worked as it was designed to."
While Touch ID locks the iPhone and requires users to input a passcode after five failed entry attempts, Face ID only allows for two failed recognition attempts before it locks the iPhone and requires a passcode to access the device, according to developer documentation. There were arguments over how many times Federighi attempted to unlock the iPhone X with Face ID while on stage given that two attempt limitation, but Apple's explanation makes sense. A secondary iPhone X unlocked with no issues during the demonstration.

The ins and outs of Face ID and its reliability will remain largely unknown until the iPhone X launches in November and is in the hands of customers. Members of the media received hands-on time with the device following the event, but reviews were somewhat mixed. Most people were generally impressed with Face ID and saw it work seamlessly, but there was also at least one report of a problems with the feature not working until the display was turned on and off.

Face ID uses infrared scanning techniques to create a mathematical model of a user's face, which is compared to a facial scan stored on the device to authenticate. Because it uses infrared, Face ID works in the dark and in low lighting conditions, and Apple says it also works with hats, glasses, and beards, makeup, and other items that might partially obscure the face.

Article Link: Apple Says Face ID Didn't Fail Onstage During iPhone X Keynote
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
6,855
7,840
Not surprised at the denial. It was clear Craig had to wipe the stage makeup off his face for it to work.

Click to zoom in.
makeup.png


Fast forward to 0:50.
 
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Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2010
2,837
1,057
So what this means is if I am showing a funny text on my lockscreen to my friends... the phone is going to go into "require a passcode mode" after it gets passed around to 3 of my friends before it gets back to me?

If this were Touch ID, this wouldn't be an issue. I don't think each one of my friends would be "touching the home button" of my phone with each of their fingers. (sounds dirty)
 
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ErikGrim

macrumors 603
Jun 20, 2003
5,114
3,668
Brisbane, Australia
So what this means is if I am showing an article to my friends or showing my friends what is on the lockscreen display the phone is going to go into "require a passcode mode" after it gets passed around to 3 of my friends to laugh after it gets back to me?
Only if you lock the phone before you pass it to your friends.
 
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Keymaster

macrumors member
Dec 15, 2003
68
209
Sounds like it keeps it pretty secure, but it does mean you'll be using your passcode more if you have your phone out in a crowd and it starts trying to find faces. I wonder how it decides when you're trying to open it...that logic will determine how often it seems to get it wrong. That's an issue, a lot of people will think it's failing if this happens a lot.

I do like the fact that you can't be forced to open the phone...apparently you just need to close your eyes and it will fail to recognize your face. I can't wait for all the testing where people try to get into it without permission, should be fun to watch.
 
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zhandri

Suspended
Sep 4, 2012
489
352
Oh ok

First impressions sometimes can be the last tho?

this is the problem. whatever really caused it but this will alwas be "face id fails on first ever public attempt to unlock the phone". i think it was also bad how craig reacted to it. he obviously shocked and surprised but i also don't understand how they can't make sure everything is working before they start showing the phone
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
12,797
10,531
this is the problem. whatever really caused it but this will alwas be "face id fails on first ever public attempt to unlock the phone". i think it was also bad how craig reacted to it. he obviously shocked and surprised but i also don't understand how they can't make sure everything is working before they start showing the phone

Yeah he could've explained what happened and reset the clock instead he went with "ho ho ho" like he was Santa
[doublepost=1505366791][/doublepost]
I hope that's true. So I can buy the X on the first day.

You can have my preorder slot
 
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BvizioN

macrumors 603
Mar 16, 2012
5,192
3,254
Manchester, UK
Sounds like it keeps it pretty secure, but it does mean you'll be using your passcode more if you have your phone out in a crowd and it starts trying to find faces. I wonder how it decides when you're trying to open it

As it has been said, it will only try to unlock when eyes are looking at it. I can't think of a scenario where a crowd of people would be looking at my locked phone.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
The demo is not relevant. And even after the event it was only apple employees that were set up for face id.

When it hits the wild we will know if it's just markerting or if the system really works flawlessly. From Touch ID experience , wait for rev b or c
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
12,797
10,531
If apple wants to send me a demo unit, that I will return to them, to turn me from a skeptical naysayer to an evangelist, I'm open to it!

Otherwise I'll go with: meh?
 
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