Deep Dojo

Apple Introduces Face ID

Apple isn’t just a hardware company. It’s not just a software company either. It’s both. I’ve always admired how clever the company is at leveraging that distinction.

The latest iPhone will unlock itself merely by looking at your face.

“The IR camera takes an IR image. The dot projector projects out 30,000 invisible IR dots. We use the IR image and the dot pattern and we push them to neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face. Then we check that mathematical model against the one that we’ve stored that you set up earlier to see if it’s a match and unlock your phone.”

Philip W. Schiller

This capability on a mobile device is not just a combination of optical hardware and machine learning. Custom silicon was developed as well.

“The neural engine is specialized hardware built for a specific set of machine learning algorithms. This is another example of the incredible collaboration between the hardware and software teams that’s only possible at Apple.

The neural engine is a state-of-the-art ultrafast processing system. It uses our highest density computing ever. It’s a dual-core design. It can perform over 600 billion operations per second and it’s used to do the real-time processing of Face ID recognition.”

It will be interesting to see what else Apple does with their A11 Bionic chip. The SDK for face tracking has already been made available in iOS 11.