Apple may bring Face ID to Macs, Touchbar to Magic Keyboard: Patent

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 15 Apr 2019
Apple may bring Face ID to Macs, Touchbar to Magic Keyboard: Patent
  • ​Patent hints Apple working on brining Face ID technology to Macs
  • In this case, the sensor is expected to be “a retina scanner”
  • Apple may also may bring Touchbar to Magic Keyboard

Apple has been expanding the Face ID technology since its launch with the iPhone X back in 2017. There are reports which claim that the technology will become mainstream in iPads too as it has in the iPhones. In the latest development, a patent granted to Apple has unveiled that the Cupertino-based tech giant may be bringing Face ID technology to its Mac PCs as well. Further, Apple could also put a Macbook Pro-type Touchbar on the Magic Keyboard. This is the second patent related to Face ID on the Mac in a year, and a third one related to Touchbar on the keyboard.

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The patent (accessed by Patently Apple) granted to Apple talks about the wake up feature. “The patent describes how Macs in sleep mode could use their camera to look for faces. This would presumably be a feature added to Power Nap, where a sleeping Mac is still able to carry out certain background activities without using much power. If your Mac spots a face, it then uses facial recognition to wake the Mac if the user is identified,” a claim in the patent read.

It explains that the Mac PC will remain in sleep mode while it is figuring out whether or not any face is in view and then enter a higher powered mode to run the facial recognition part before fully waking the machine. But there could be one key difference between Face ID on iPhones and the one that may come on Macs. While iPhones have “a facial detection sensor,” Macs may have “a retina scanner.”

This may have been done because the company knows that the Face ID is not the safest solution to the lock a phone. There have been incidents where people have fooled the Face ID and unlocked someone else’s phone using 3D masks and/or by taking advantage of the striking resemblance to the user, regardless of age or gender.

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As mentioned there also a talk about the Touchbar in the Magic Keyboard. Now these keyboards are powered by batteries and are connected to the Mac via bluetooth. Incorporating an OLED panel is also expected to use more power, hence, the battery life could also be affected due to the inclusion of the touch panel in the keyboard.

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