Most of our beloved readers may have already known of the recent incident when Face ID failed to function properly during Apple’s September 2017 keynote. This so-called Face ID “failure” apparently led to a temporary decline in Apple’s market value and it sparked a wave of criticism from consumers and members of the media regarding the reliability of the “new” technology. Well, Apple has something to say about that.
According to Apple, the Face ID technology on the iPhone X worked as it should during the live demo. The reason why Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, wasn’t able to unlock the phone during the keynote was because of “mishandling” of the demo iPhone X device by Apple employees.
Craig Federighi, in an email to MacRumors, stated that the Face ID lockout mechanism was caused by “several interactions by other people.” Apple employees who were responsible for handling the demo iPhone X ahead of time didn’t realise that Face ID was trying to authenticate their face.
The only face that could’ve unlock the live demo iPhone X was Craig Federighi. Of course, after numerous failed attempts, Face ID did what it was supposed to do: initiate a lockout mechanism, which now requires a passcode to unlock the phone. Knowing this, it’s safe to say that the mishap during Apple’s iPhone X live demo wasn’t the fault of Face ID after all.
That aside, Federighi also added that Face ID will work with most sunglasses as well. This is because the sensors responsible for Face ID authentication will be able to emit enough IR light through most sunglasses to be able to “see” one’s eyes – even when the glasses appear to be non-transparent.
Another important question was also raised by folks at MacRumors: what’s to stop a thief from stealing one’s iPhone X and unlocking it by pointing the phone at the owners face? Federighi stated that Face ID comes with two safety mechanisms: it won’t unlock if you close your eyes, and it will be temporarily disabled when one grips the buttons on both sides of the phone (before handing it over).
Regardless, it’s still way too early to tell whether Apple’s Face ID will work properly in the hands of actual consumers – since the iPhone X isn’t due for release until November.