HomePod Firmware Suggests iPhone 8 Will Be Able to Scan Your Face Even While Device is Lying Flat

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The newest discovery found within the HomePod firmware has shed some light on the iPhone 8's facial recognition software, and how it could potentially scan a user's face even when the smartphone is lying flat on a table. Uncovered by iHelp BR, code within the firmware related to "Pearl," which is Apple's internal name for the new facial recognition system, also includes multiple references to the word "resting" alongside "unlock."

    The feature was discovered to be categorized as an accessibility option, specifically called "AXRestingPearlUnlock" and "com.apple.accessibility.resting.pearl.unlock". While not an exact confirmation, the HomePod firmware discovery does corroborate a report by Bloomberg from July that said Apple was working on an "improved" facial recognition system for iPhone 8, which would replace Touch ID and allegedly work even when the smartphone was flat on a table.


    That story claimed the iPhone 8's facial recognition would capture more data points than Touch ID, making it more secure. When rumors first came out that the iPhone 8 would potentially remove Touch ID completely, many iPhone users raised concerns about not being able to unlock their devices as they have been for years, due to a facial recognition system that would need to have the iPhone brought up directly in front of their face.

    According to Bloomberg's report, and the new HomePod firmware findings, Apple's facial identification software will have far more nuance than simply scanning faces head-on, and allow the smartphone to be unlocked even when it's at an odd angle. At the time of the report last month, the advanced facial recognition feature was "still being tested" and had the potential to not appear in the iPhone 8 this year. The new discovery within the HomePod firmware, which runs a modified version of iOS, makes it more likely that the advanced face ID system could make it into the iPhone 8.


    The firmware also includes references to Apple's facial detection software working with third-party apps, found in a string called "APPS_USING_PEARL". This means that users would potentially be able to unlock features within certain apps using their face, like they can currently within banking apps, for example, using their fingerprint and Touch ID. Another line includes a detail called "PEARL_AUTOLOCK", and iHelp BR theorizes this could be a security feature that automatically locks the iPhone when it detects someone trying to open it whose face doesn't match that of the authenticated user.

    According to a recent Tweet by Mark Gurman, Apple's pitch for facial recognition will be that the new feature is "quicker, more secure, and more accurate than Touch ID." Other recent HomePod firmware leaks revealed that the iPhone 8's facial recognition will likely work with Apple Pay and that the smartphone might record 4K Video at 60 FPS with both front and rear cameras.

    Article Link: HomePod Firmware Suggests iPhone 8 Will Be Able to Scan Your Face Even While Device is Lying Flat
  2. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    I'm still worried about wearing headgear and needing to quickly unlock your phone....
  3. BlueCreek macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2014
    Really hope this isn't replacing Touch ID and is being introduced alongside as an alternative
  4. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Guess Apple is regretting creating the HomePod, before even releasing it.
  5. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    HomePod Firmware Suggests Winning Lottery Numbers
  6. Sunny1990, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    That's the question? Touch id is not in the display, nor is it on the back. So were is it? Million dollar question?
  7. mazz0 macrumors 68000


    Mar 23, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Well, I’m still skeptical, but we’ll see - maybe FaceID (I’d put money on that being the name) won’t be a step back in usability from TouchID.
  8. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    It will replace Touch ID I think, it's not necessarily a bad thing either, it seems Apple have put a lot of thought into this and it will a more advanced system. Expect Apple to do with facial scanning what they did with Touch ID.
  9. kyleh22 macrumors 6502


    Apr 26, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Touch ID is being replaced by face scanning. Scanning your face is much better to encourage impulse buys than touching a button. Apple = Share price above all else.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 6, 2017 ---
    This is cool...but it's kind of scary the device is constantly scanning faces.
  10. Geert76 macrumors 68000

    Feb 28, 2014
    the Netherlands
    what if all these ''leaks'' via the HomePod firmware is one big hoax!? ;)
  11. AngerDanger, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    I'm really hoping Apple opens this precognitive device to developers; I'd love a magic 8 ball app.

    "HomePod, how long will I live?"


  12. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    Oh dear.

    There will of course be a large distinct confirmation warning directly on the display which a user must tap before purchasing even if Face ID is the authentication methodology.
  13. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    Apple trolling everyone would be so funny :D
  14. Sunny1990, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    That's for sure, recently leaked images of iPhone 8 Display assembly shows no touch id.

    Edit :- here is a link to the Article


    No doubt Face-Id will be primary source of security in iPhone 8. I Am actually interested to see how Apple will make it work with Apple Pay,
  15. Pentium macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2015
    Los Angeles
    That's nice to know, if they are giving up on TouchID the replacement should be good :)
  16. meaning-matters macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2013
    I predict the front camera having a thick spherical bulge with a rotating camera that looks like an eye :)
  17. NinjaHERO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2008
    U S of A
    Gonna be interesting. I can't wait to see the final product.
  18. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    How about in the dark, on a bedside table when your head is half obscured by a pillow?
  19. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    In the dark does not matter. Ever heard of infrared (invisible light)?
  20. RichTF macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    London, UK
    I’m still kinda sceptical about FaceID, but that’s largely due to how much I love TouchID. It’s a high bar Apple has set for itself.

    It just occurred to me though that *maybe* we’ve been looking at this backwards. Could be that keeping TouchID was the backup plan for Apple, in case FaceID couldn’t be made to work well enough. And dropping TouchID has more to do with FaceID being a success than with problems adding TouchID to the iPhone 8. Maybe. I just hope it really is good enough, so we’ll see…

    I also suspect that FaceID won’t be a background thing, and will need a (virtual) home button press for it to trigger. If so (and if it works properly) that would make it feel indistinguishable from TouchID. Or even better than TouchID, if you have wet hands etc.
  21. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    Wait. It shows no Touch ID? How so? Describe to me in detail how that leak, assuming it is real, shows no Touch ID.
  22. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Feb 22, 2009
    I think sunglasses are the bigger dilemma for me anyway. There must be a way though, I would think.
  23. nfl46 macrumors 604


    Oct 5, 2008
    This seems like a nice feature. My concern would be, what if someone picks my charging phone up off the table while I’m asleep and put its in front of my face to unlock it. At least with TouchID, they would have to grab my hand and chances are, I would wake up to notice it.

    Just a random thought...definitely first world problems.
  24. MacHiavelli macrumors 65816


    May 17, 2007
    new york
    Lying flat, not laying flat.

    Lay or Lie.png
  25. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    It activates the microphone simultaneously to ensure it hears no snoring.

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