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Face /Off

One of the bigger updates around the iPhone announcement yesterday was facial unlock. Of course, this was one of the stumbles in the demo when Craig Federighi had issues unlocking the device and was then prompted for a password. It was Apple’s “Microsoft Moment”.

Having dealt with the face unlock feature on the S8 before, I’ve known that issue.. looking at the phone endlessly hoping it’ll unlock.

What’s interesting and what I completely missed over the past two weeks is that on August 29, Samsung quietly pushed “Faster Recognition” as an update to the face unlock to maybe have a better comparative performance against the new iPhone. I’m testing this now to see how it compares.

Facial recognition technology has been around for awhile and some companies, like Sensory, have touted it as a very secure solution for applications (theirs includes things like liveness testing). While the technology today is “usable”, we’re probably 18 months away from it being exceptionally good. Maybe it’ll be the iPhone XS or the S9 that gets this to be amazing.

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