New iPhone update makes it easier to face-unlock if you're wearing a coronavirus face mask

WITH more of us having to wear masks due to coronavirus, trying to open your iPhone using Face ID has become an issue.

However, Apple appears to have added a new feature to the developer version of iOS 13.5 that could rectify this.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

According to videos shared on Twitter by Robert Petersen and Guilherme Rambo, Apple has heard the masked cries of its users.

The footage apparently demonstrates an updated Face ID automatically detecting someone wearing a mask.

It then automatically shows the passcode-entry screen for a user to type in their PIN.

Currently, users wearing a mask are greeted with a shaking padlock and the message "Swipe up to unlock".

Automatically showing the passcode-entry screen may seem like a small step but it should make things easier for users who unlock their phone multiple times a day.

It could also encourage people not to take off their masks when they don't have to.

We don't yet know if this feature will appear in the final version of the software update.

We have reached out to Apple for comment.

How to unlock Apple Face ID with a mask on

Although it doesn't have a 100% pass rate, researchers at Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab discovered that you can technically train Face ID to recognise you with a mask on.

It involves setting up the biometric system while wearing half a mask.

First you'll need to go to "Settings" and click on "Face ID & Passcode".

You can either select to "Reset Face ID" or set up your masked face as an "Alternate Appearance".

Click your choice and then wear your mask but fold it in half so it's only on one half of your face.

Your phone may give you a "Face Obstructed" message.

If this happens move the mask slowly away from the centre of your face and only just cover the tip of your nose.

You should eventually get a “Move your head slowly to complete the circle” message.

Then you'll be asked to do two scans of your face.

Your iPhone should then read "Face ID is now set up".

All you need to do now is put your mask on and test it out.

The researchers who found this method did note that it doesn't always work so you may need to be patient or to just use your numerical passcode.

Face ID should still work when you're not wearing a mask at all.

If you're still having problems you can go back into "Settings", follow the steps above but try using a mask on the other side of your face.

You can also try "Set Up Alternate Appearance" instead of resetting the whole thing.

How does Apple's FaceID tech work?

Apple's facial recognition system for the iPhone X isn't massively complicated.Here are the steps your phone takes:

  • The phone will use various sensors to work out how much light it needs to illuminate your face.
  • It then floods your face with infrared light, which is outside the visible spectrum of light.
  • A dot projector will produce more than 30,000 dots of this invisible light, creating a 3D map of your face.
  • An infrared camera will then capture images of this dot pattern.
  • Once your phone has all that info, it can use your face's defining features – like your cheekbone shape, or the distance between your eyes – to verify your identity.
  • It computes a score between 0 and 1, and the closer it is to 1, the more likely it is that your face is the same as the one stored on your iPhone.
  • Apple says there's a one-in-a-million chance of someone else getting into your iPhone with Face ID, although the system has been tricked with twins.
  • Still, it's arguably better than the alternative: Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner has a one-in-50,000 chance if being fooled.

In other news, Apple and Google have started testing an app that warns users if they may have been infected with coronavirus.

Apple Maps could soon reveal your nearest coronavirus testing centre.

And, experts warned earlier this month that Apple and Google's contact tracing apps could pose significant risks to people's privacy.

Will you find the new face-unlock update useful? Let us know in the comments…

Source: Read Full Article