The latest buzz is that ?face-recognition? considered being one of the most sought after privacy tools in the recent time might now come to your iPhone and iPad too. Apple Inc. known for its persistent affinity towards innovation at the highest level has filed for a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In a recent free publication, the patent Office has divulged details of Apple?s application to offer “low-computational” face recognition capabilities.
?This specification relates to low threshold face recognition, e.g., a face recognition system that can tolerate a certain level of false positives in making face recognition determinations.
Most face recognition systems fall into one of two categories. A first category system tends to be robust and can tackle various lighting conditions, orientations, scale and the like, and tends to be computationally expensive. A second category system is specialized for security-type applications and can work under controlled lighting conditions. Adopting the first category systems for face recognition on consumer operated portable appliances that are equipped with a camera would unnecessarily use an appliance’s computing resources and drain its power. Moreover, as the consumer portable appliances tend to be used both indoor and outdoor, the second category systems for face recognition may be ineffective?.
So, how will it help…
The ?face-recognition? tool will help iOS users with a forward-facing camera device to customize their profile with personalized wallpaper, apps and settings. Therefore, your profile cannot be accessed by anyone other than the face recognised by the device.
Face-recognition technology for devices has recently been adapted by several makers for their products. However, there have been a serious many debate as to if the robust facial recognition systems that worked under various lighting conditions could be taxing on an electronic device.
Apple’s technology on the other hand, proposes to help reduce the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions on an image. In the application filed, Apple Inc. has described it as a “low-computation solution for reasonably effective, low threshold, face recognition that can be implemented on camera-equipped consumer portable appliances”.
Thereby, instead of analyzing the entire face of a user, which Apple believes would consume much time and resources, the Cupertino Company?s proposed patent would depend on “high information portion” of a human face, such as the eyes, mouth and tip of the nose. It would rather seek to measure the distance between a user’s eyes and mouth, and reference this against the original image to ascertain the identity of the user.
The patent application stresses on the fact that owing to the low power consumption, the face-recognition function could be constantly active; thus potentially allowing users to turn on the screen and unlock their iOS device by pointing it at their face.
What are your views on this ?face-recognition? system patent sought after by Apple? Do you think this will prove to be a useful tool?