​Apple Patent Describes Bringing Facial Recognition to Macs

2017-07-07 613 Posted by 3uTools

We’ve been hearing a lot about the 3D camera system in the iPhone 8 being capable of facial recognition to allow automatic login without Touch ID or passcode. A new patent application published today suggests that Apple also wants to bring this capability to future Macs.

But Apple has more in mind that just a simple unlock function …

​Apple Patent Describes Bringing Facial Recognition to Macs


The patent describes how Macs in sleep mode could use their camera to look for faces. This would presumably be a feature added to Power Nap, where a sleeping Mac is still able to carry out certain background activities without using much power.

If your Mac spots a face, it then uses facial recognition to wake the Mac if the user is identified.

Essentially, the Mac can remain in sleep mode while doing the easy bit – just figuring out whether or not any face is in view – and then enter a higher powered mode to run the facial recognition part before fully waking the machine.

The patent describes a number of variations on the theme. For example, by monitoring how far a user is from the machine, it could enter a lighter or deeper sleep mode based on how likely you are to want to use it soon.

For example, the system may power up within a half second rather than six to eight seconds due to the reduced set of routines. In some embodiments, the computing device may be configured to determine when a user moves away from the device or leaves the proximity of the device. In response, the device may enter a power saving mode, such as a display sleep mode, a system sleep mode, activation of a screen saver, and so forth. Further, the system may exit the sleep mode partially in order to speed up the computer wake up time based on sensing the presence of a user.

As ever with Apple patents, you never know which ones it will actually use, but this one sounds to me like a winner.

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