IF YOU have an iPhone with Face ID that never seems to unlock first time, there’s a neat trick that may help.
It’s possible to set up an alternative appearance on your handset, which can maximise your chances of being scanned correctly.
How does Face ID work?
This can protect your handset in a relatively secure way, shutting out outsiders who don’t match your visual profile.
The phone will use various sensors to work out how much light it needs to illuminate your face.
It then floods your face with infrared light, which is outside the visible spectrum of light.
A dot projector will produce more than 30,000 dots of this invisible light, creating a 3D map of your face.
An infrared camera will then capture images of this dot pattern.
Once your phone has all that info, it can use your face’s defining features – like your cheekbone shape, or the distance between your eyes – to verify your identity.
It computes a score between 0 and 1, and the closer it is to 1, the more likely it is that your face is the same as the one stored on your iPhone.
Apple says there’s a one-in-a-million chance of someone else getting into your iPhone with Face ID, although the system has been tricked with twins.
Still, it’s arguably better than the alternative: Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner has a one-in-50,000 chance if being fooled.
It’s possible to optimise your Face ID for different appearances[/caption]
How to improve your Face ID
The problem is that Face ID can sometimes struggle to match your profile.
If you regularly move between beardy and clean-shaven, have your hair covering your face often, or wear sunglasses, the Face ID tech might fail.
But Apple has accounted for this with an additional feature called Alternative Appearance.
When you first set up Face ID, your face will be scanned and Face ID will better learn what you look like over time.
With Alternative Appearance, you can choose a secondary “appearance” that will help Face ID identify you at times when it would normally fail.
For instance, you could set up your Alternative Appearance wearing your favourite pair of sunglasses.
Or if you wear your hair up usually, you could set it up wearing your hair down, or with bangs.
And if you’ve usually clean-shaven, you might want to try growing a bit of stubble for a secondary appearance – to identify you on days when you forget to trim the face fuzz.
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To do this, simply open your Settings app, then head into Face ID & Passcode.
About halfway down the page is an option to Set Up An Alternative Appearance.
Tap that and you’ll be guided through the process.
Apple describes it as follows: “In addition to continuously learning how you look, Face ID can recognise an alternative appearance.”
What do you think of Face ID? Do you trust it? Let us know in the comments!