Apple Aims to Bring Face ID to MacBook and iMac: Patent Unveiled

 

Apple appears to be planning to extend its Face ID facial recognition system, currently available on iPhones and iPads, to its Mac computer lineup. This intention has surfaced through a recently filed patent by the company, which explicitly refers to the implementation of a "light recognition module" for biometric face authentication on a laptop.

Although not directly mentioning Face ID or MacBook, the patent strongly suggests Apple's plan to introduce the technology from iPhones and iPads to Mac systems, as it has previously done with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

As stated in the document, Apple's goal is to enhance the protection of increasingly sensitive data stored by users on Mac computers, particularly laptops, given the growing use of laptops for complex tasks. Despite the critical importance of security, biometric authentication systems must adapt to the physical constraints of the devices they are implemented on.

According to Apple's patent, limited space within laptops and computers mandates that these systems have a compact footprint while maintaining the accuracy of user recognition. The proposed solution involves using a compact light pattern recognition module that can be integrated into Apple's laptops and desktops. This module would provide effective biometric authentication while respecting the physical limitations of the devices.

The patent details how this system could work, utilizing a light emitter capable of projecting a predetermined pattern (such as infrared light) and a light detector to recognize the pattern reflected off an object (in this case, the user's face).

In essence, the patent describes the operation of Face ID adapted for a Mac system. According to the patent, the system would be positioned in close proximity to or overlapping the display. The patent includes various examples, similar to the "notch" design already seen on MacBook Air M2 and 14/16-inch MacBook Pro models.

When Will Face ID Arrive on Macs?

It's important to note that while the patent specifically refers to laptop systems, an image within the documentation portrays a desktop system resembling an iMac. Considering the potential for implementation on a portable system, it's even more feasible on an all-in-one desktop.

However, as with all patent news, it's crucial to remember that filing a patent doesn't guarantee a product's release or the inclusion of a technology in a final product. In this specific instance, several factors suggest the likelihood of Face ID arriving on MacBook systems in the relatively near future. Notably, rumors circulated in 2021 indicated that Face ID could come to Macs within two years—something to keep in mind.

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