Apple AAPL -0.78% has some unusual upgrades and controversial design changes planned for its upcoming 2019 iPhones. But now the company has revealed technology which suggests these models will be nothing more than a footnote in iPhone history…
Uncovered by BGR, Apple has submitted patents detailing a radical new version of Face ID which can scan the veins and blood vessels in your face. Called “subepidermal imaging”, this somewhat creepy technology actually has clear benefits:
“Assessment of subepidermal features during the facial recognition authentication process may be useful in distinguishing between users that have closely related facial features (e.g., siblings or twins),” states Apple in the filing. “In addition, assessment of subepidermal features may be used to prevent unlocking of the device by an unauthorized user wearing a mask or using another face replication method.”
Apple goes even further, explaining that its new technology can even measure the absorption properties of blood vessels therefore “differentiating vein features in the eyes of the user.”
This may all sound like science fiction, but it’s not. Earlier this year, LG unveiled its G8 ThinQ smartphone which has “Hand ID” – a fingerprint reader which also recognises the vein structure in your fingertips. The G8 ThinQ goes on sale next month.
Does this mean you can expect Apple’s 2019 iPhones to read the veins and blood vessels in your face? It’s certainly possible, but I suspect we’re in for a longer wait. This year Apple’s new iPhones look more modest while everything changes in 2020. That said, I suspect it won’t be long before our iPhone looks at you in a whole different way.