The big hype the past few weeks has been the impending release of the iPhone X which fully releases tomorrow. While at first I was tempted to order one with that gorgeous edge to edge display and it finally being an OLED display, I in the end decided to hold off due to one reason in particular.
With the removal of the home button and Touch ID, the phone completely relied on Face ID. At first I didn’t view this as a big deal as the Surface Book I’ve been using for the past 2 years has the same technology. However, about a week before pre-orders Bloomberg published a report about Apple choosing to dumb down the Face ID to make the phone easier to produce. This article caused me to be skeptical about Apples implementation of it. As the week went on it was more and more obvious that the ID would be inferior to that which can be found on any modern day Surface device.
The iPhone X as we understand it, projects 30,000 infrared dots on to the persons face to identify them. This is in contrast to the Surface line that uses an infrared camera to identify the person signing into the device. Whats the difference?
Well using a full infrared camera versus just the dots makes it immensely more secure. So much so an identical twin couldn’t sign into your Surface Book, but they could sign in to your iPhone X without issue more than you’d like. While most of us don’t have an identical twin, it leads me to doubt how safe it could be to the usual tricks that unlock other facial recognition systems that have come before. Windows Hello was revolutionary at the time because it was able to drastically reduce spoofing by high quality photos or twins. Face ID is already 0-1 on one of those fronts, until its been thoroughly tested, I’ll just stand on sidelines and wait for version 2.