Apple was granted a patent for facial recognition technology to control iPhone devices.
According to its web site, on December 3 (local time) the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple US Patent No. 8,600,120 for personal computing device control using face detection and recognition. The patent was first filed in March 2008.
iPhone users will be able to unlock or receive an incoming phone call with a mere glance at their smartphone screen, without entering passwords or putting their fingerprints on the device.
The tech giant recently spent US$360 million (381.5 billion won) to buy PrimeSense, an Israeli motion-sensing hardware and software firm responsible for the technology behind Microsoft’s first Kinect sensor. Hence, foreign media raised the possibility of using facial recognition technology in next-gen iPhone devices.
However, some in the industry think that it will take a long time for the facial recognition unlocking system to be featured on iPhone devices. For example, Apple purchased fingerprint sensor manufacturer AuthenTec in July last year, but it took more than a year to use fingerprint scanning in its new iPhone model.
Google, on the other hand, introduced a new way of unlocking an Android smartphone with the Face Unlock feature in Android 4.0, but after the introduction there was controversy about its low recognition rate.