Apple patent suggests face unlock may come to the iPhone and iPad

Apple patent documentation made public this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicates that the Cupertino-based company is exploring different ways to utilize the forward-facing camera on its devices. The patent, which was uncovered by AppleInsider, describes a system that could scan and detect a user’s face to unlock a device. If the user cannot be identified by the system, he or she would by asked to enter a security code, much like Google’s face unlock technology. Apple isn’t looking to use face detection to simply unlock a user’s device, however. After a user’s face is recognized, the software could be used to set pre-determined settings and launch various applications. “If the detected human face is recognized… an operation of the (device) can be modified based upon the recognized human face,” the patent application reads. “The modification can include executing a pre-defined set of operations such as opening email, opening text messages, and so forth.”

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