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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Dec. 6

Face recognition, buckling knees, 3D sensor run riot, refocusing cam

By , Network World
December 09, 2013 08:16 AM ET
iPhone 6

Network World - Temperatures plunged everywhere in the U.S. last week but not in the iOSphere, where heated speculation and anticipation of the iPhone 6 being able to detect and recognize your face kept spirits buoyant. Though why remains a mystery.

A recent Apple company acquisition continued spawning rumors that Apple will cast a web and a spell of 3D environmental sensors that will tell you the size of your refrigerator, whether the person ringing your doorbell is an old friend that you’ve not seen for a long time, and whether you’re using too many cups of flour in your cake batter. No fooling.

You read it here second.

This particular example [of iPhone 6 scanning your face, confirming you are you, and letting you take a phone call] makes our knees buckle in excitement, but it seems we have to wait for almost half a year before we find out if this rumor is true.

iPhone 6 will have face detection and face recognition capability

This rumor is based on a much more mundane event: The government published a patent awarded to Apple for a "personal computing device control using face detection and recognition," as Mikey Campbell reported for AppleInsider

The post’s headline sparked that excess of patent adoration that periodically billows through the iOSphere: “Future iPhones may unlock, hide messages based on a user's face.” The idea that iPhone 6 would use this invention to know whether the person looking at the screen was an “authorized user” and then allow or block incoming calls or messages was deeply thrilling to some. “This particular example makes our knees buckle in excitement, but it seems we have to wait for almost half a year before we find out if this rumor is true,” confessed the anonymous staff writer posting at Kpopstarz, the New York City-based “comprehensive Korean pop entertainment news website.”

Campbell sticks to the facts, or at least to the text of the patent. “As noted in the document, face detection and recognition are two different processes,” he explains helpfully. “Detection involves locating faces within an image, while recognition goes deeper by pairing those faces with a particular person or user. Typically, facial recognition follows detection.”

Anyone with a dog already knows this.

Next, Campbell explains what it all means. Detecting and recognizing a face is “a property that looks to beef up device security as well as make the computing experience more convenient for users.” (Or, for dog owners, to beef up the facial licking experience and make the endorphin enhancing experience of unconditional love more intense.) So it must be a good and even necessary advancement in the mobile experience.

And Apple’s invention is part of a trend! “[F]acial recognition is quickly gaining momentum in the consumer electronics industry,” Campbell writes. “The new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles tout the feature for user logins, while rival smartphone makers have toyed with the tech to varying degrees of success.”

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