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Infrared video shows off the iPhone X’s new Face ID feature in action

Published Nov 3rd, 2017 3:22PM EDT
iPhone X Face ID
Image: Apple Inc.

iPhone X launch day is upon us and things seemingly couldn’t be going better for Apple. Hot off of an impressive earnings report yesterday, Apple shares are currently trading at an all-time high and early reviews of the iPhone X have been overwhelmingly positive. What’s more, iPhone X supply appears to be a tad more plentiful than initially imagined.

Aside from the notch, the most controversial aspect of the iPhone X is Face ID, Apple’s face recognition software designed to replace Touch ID. With good reason, many viewed the initial Face ID announcement with some skepticism and questioned if it could really be as reliable, secure, and useful as Touch ID. With the iPhone X now out in the wild, the consensus appears to be that Face ID is not only as good as Touch ID, but even more convenient.

Face ID works by using a dot projector to illuminate a user’s face with 30,000 infrared dots to create a facial depth map. In conjunction with that, an infrared sensor than take stock of the depth map and mathematically compares it to the stored Face ID profile established during the setup process. Notably, the iPhone X TrueDepth camera module has a Flood Illuminator component which shines an invisible infrared light on a user’s face so that the thousands of infrared dots can be analyzed accurately.

With the iPhone X now out in the wild, one enterprising owner decided to take IR video of himself to give us a more detailed view of the Face ID unlocking process. Originally posted to Reddit, the iPhone X owner notes:

Filmed this earlier today with the IR night vision of my security cam to show the Face ID unlock. I thought it was mildly interesting as you can see the IR sensor go off when detecting the face and wanted to share.

The video can be seen below.

And for good measure, Nilay Patel over at The Verge also posted a video worth checking out.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.