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Apple patent for Face ID-like feature on Macs is granted



What you need to know

  • Apple was granted a new patent aimed at adding Face Face to Mac.
  • The patent would analyze to see if a person is in front of the screen and automatically log on.
  • Within the patent were illustrations of what the patent would look like on a screen.

Apple has been granted a new patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office which suggests that Face ID will be coming to the Mac very soon. The description of the patent reveals that the camera will automatically wake up when you look at the computer's camera sensor.

Here is the official description of the patent:

An embodiment may take the form of a method of operating a data unit in reduced power state and gathering an initial data set from at least one sensor. Based on the first data set, the data unit determines a probability that an object is within a threshold distance from the data processing unit, in which case the device activates at least one secondary sensor to collect a second data set. Based on the second dataset, the device determines whether the object is a person. If there is a person, a position of the person is determined relative to the data unit, and the data unit changes its state based on the person's position. If the object is not a person, the data device remains in a reduced power state.

It's not exactly the explanation for the feature Apple will use in marketing, but it does explain how the feature will work. Basically, it will use the camera to detect users and log them on even when the computer is in "diminished power" or in sleep mode. It will be very similar to how Apple likes to add new features and let them work as magic in the background.

With permission from the USPTO

Apple is likely to analyze the patent in a more user-friendly lingo once it is incorporated into a "data processing device" we mean talking about a Mac given the illustrations Apple included in the patent (see above). The iPhone and iPad already have Face ID embedded in them, the only one left is the Mac that gives Apple plenty of room to innovate and improve its features.

It may take some time before we see the feature in Macs. Currently, Apple is pleased to have Touch ID fingerprint scanners in the MacBook, but with a complete redesign expected by the end of this year, the introduction of Face ID with the regular annual upgrade may come in a few years.

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