Why face scanning is going to dominate the future of smartphones and laptops (AAPL, MSFT, GOOG)

Apple Face ID

The introduction of fingerprint scanners in the iPhone popularised secure biometric systems in consumer electronics.
But as technology has evolved, the industry has started to call for face scanners instead as they are smarter, more convenient and also more secure.
Some high-end devices, like those from Microsoft and Apple, have already made the switch, and that will likely mean that others will follow.

It was almost five years ago when the iPhone 5S first popularised fingerprint scanners on phones. It cleverly used the iPhone’s signature home button and placed a small reader beneath it.

People didn’t have to learn anything new as the scanner worked automatically when pressing the button, and they could keep their phone’s data safe without the hassle of inserting a password every time. The technology was immediately copied elsewhere, and now, five years later, it’s basically impossible to find a smartphone that doesn’t support it.

But biometric systems have moved forward, and new technologies have surfaced that want to use an even better password: Your face.

There are several reasons to think that this is an inevitable shift; one of them is that face scanning has the potential to be superior in terms of security when compared with fingerprint scanning.

Once again, Apple is leading the pack: The company released the iPhone X last year, which features a radically new design that includes a special camera array at the top. The sensors include the TrueDepth camera which makes Face ID — the company’s solution to replace Touch ID — work.

Face ID uses a flood illuminator to project around 30,000 dots onto your face, which create a depth map of your face’s unique shape. An infrared sensor then double checks that the image it acquired corresponds to your face each time you try to access your phone, and if it does, you’re in.

Apple estimated that, while Touch ID was already secure with only a one in 50,000 chance of being spoofed, Face ID brings that up to about one in 1 million.

Fingerprint readers, however, have been one of the few non-criticised components in smartphones, and added security is not the only reason to embark on such a massive shift. So what, exactly, prompted the move to face scanners in the first place?

New and challenging smartphone designs inspired manufacturers to move forward

Let’s take a quick step back.

The biggest trend in smartphone design recently has been the elimination of the front bezel — the black frame surrounding the display — in favour of almost borderless, all-screen phones. Many manufacturers, notably Apple and Samsung, are relying on the physical home buttons at the front of their phones to hide the fingerprint scanner, so recent models have needed a change.

Apple eliminated Touch ID entirely, while Samsung moved it around to the back of its phones, where many other manufacturers’ phones already had it. But this raised a number of complaints because of the poor ergonomic placement.

Even when it’s in an ergonomically correct location — usually at two-thirds of a phone’s height — people are not able …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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