Apple debuted Face ID in iPhone X, which introduced a unique way to securely unlock, authenticate, and make payments using your face. The Face ID feature was later expanded to iPad, and now a new patent filed by Apple reveals that the Face ID would make its way to the Apple Macs and the MacBook series.
In Mac range of products, the Face ID module would replace the Touch ID modules on the keyboard deck of Apple’s laptops for authenticating a user.
The patent ‘Light Recognition Module for Determining a User of a Computing Device,’ filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes a computer design with a ‘biometric authentication module’ integrated into a notch on the computer’s display.
Apple in the patent also says that people use these devices to perform complex tasks and storing sensitive data, thus securing these devices is paramount. ‘To prevent unauthorised users from accessing this sensitive data, these computing devices may incorporate systems and mechanisms for authenticating users,’ Apple said in the patent.
According to the patent, Apple says that the answer is to deploy a light pattern recognition module that may be incorporated within a computing device (e.g., a laptop computer, a notebook, a desktop computer, etc.).
Similar to the iPhones Face ID, the biometric system described in the patent will use a light pattern system consisting of IR lights and sensors, a dot projector, and a camera. The notch portion would also be able to pivot, so you don’t have to adjust the computer’s screen to get an accurate facial recognition. It's highly possible that the notch won’t be exactly the same as that of the iPhones.
‘Although the systems and techniques described herein are described with relation to recognising users and/or authenticating users, the systems and techniques may also be applicable to capturing face gestures and emotions, video chatting, generating emoji, encrypting data, unlocking the computing device, supplementing passwords, differentiating different users, and the like,’ the patent added.
While it certainly looks great to have a notch on iMac, you should keep in mind that Apple continually researches about new features and technologies and files many patents for implementing, but of those, many features aren’t released.