Skip to main content

Apple patent suggests it will allow for more than two Face ID registrations

Face ID Process
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In the days of Touch ID, it was easy to register other people’s fingerprints on your phone, giving them access when they needed it. When Apple switched to Face ID, however, that changed — and while you can now register two devices with Face ID, Apple could finally be working on adding more. That could come in handy, particularly on an iPad, which might be used by a family of people.

Perhaps more interesting than simply being able to register multiple faces to an iPhone is that the patent notes different faces being able to log into different profiles. That makes sense for the Mac — it’s easy to set up multiple users on a Mac, allowing different people to have their own files and apps separate from others. On an iPhone or iPad, however, it’s currently impossible to set up multiple profiles on the same device, though it’s a feature that has been highly requested.

The patent also discusses being able to log multiple faces for different looks. For example, if someone tends to change their facial features by doing things like adding facial hear or wearing glasses, they may want to log multiple faces to their profile — despite the fact that Face ID is generally good at still recognizing a user regardless of changes like facial hair and glasses.

It certainly makes sense that Apple would want to expand the features on offer by Face ID. The system is relatively high-tech compared to Touch ID, but it has a few limitations when compared to Touch ID. It’s unlikely someone would ever change their fingerprint, for example, but it’s certainly possible, and even likely, that users would change their facial features over time.

It’s likely Apple will switch to Face ID on all kinds of devices eventually. The feature was just brought to the iPad Pro, but many expect it to feature on the Mac line of computers at some point, too, especially the MacBook and iMac. Of course, whether that ever happens remains to be seen — as does the implementation of this patent — but we think it’s a pretty safe bet that Apple will allow for multiple Face ID implementations at once eventually.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Apple’s new AR headset may use Face ID technology to track hand gestures
Apple VR Headset Concept by Antonio De Rosa

Apple has an augmented reality (AR) headset in the works, and a well-known analyst now predicts that it will use Face ID to track hand movements.

The upcoming headset is said to be equipped with more 3D sensing modules than iPhones and, according to the report, may one day replace iPhones altogether.

Read more
Apple yields to demands to make iPhone 13 display repairs easier
The iPhone 13 Pro's lock screen.

When Apple launched the iPhone 13 in September, it soon became apparent that display replacements performed by anyone other than Apple or an authorized service would disable Face ID, leaving owners with the message: "Unable to activate Face ID on this ‌iPhone‌."

This was bad news for anyone who'd just bought an iPhone 13 and needed a new display but had no idea Face ID would stop working if they took the device to a third-party repair shop. The shops, too, were none too pleased as they quickly realized they could no longer replace iPhone 13 displays, cutting off an important revenue source.

Read more
Apple’s iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 bring SharePlay, camera improvements, and more
iPhones with ios 15.

Apple is rolling out iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, its third update to the current generation of iOS since it rolled out alongside the iPhone 13. The iOS 15.1 update brings SharePlay, which lets multiple Apple users enjoy movies, music, and other content together during FaceTime calls; ProRes video recording on the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, among other improvements to the camera; and some additions to the Home, Shortcuts, Translate, and Wallet apps.

Among the slew of new features that iOS 15.1 delivers, SharePlay is bound to get most of the attention. As its name indicates, SharePlay offers multiple shared experiences using FaceTime, from browsing the web together to watching synchronized movies or TV shows to sharing content across the Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, Apple TV, and other App Store apps. It also gives each user the ability to play, pause, rewind, or fast-forward movies, shows, or music and automatically lowers the volume of the content when it detects someone speaking.

Read more