For the first time, Apple is relying on its artificial intelligence, machine learning and facial recognition tech, called Face ID, to unlock iPhones and help ensure its users’ personal information stays in their hands. The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant unveiled the new system at its annual developer conference in San Jose on Tuesday.
Apple is also using this technology to generate digital IDs that identify users by their facial patterns. When Apple detects someone trying to access a device or app that they have not authorized, they will automatically be asked to provide an ID that verifies their identity. The Digital ID will contain a photograph of the user, and Apple will use a five-point grid to make it appear that it is displayed for the user.
Apple’s most visible move in the field of privacy is likely to be the introduction of its new parental controls. This is something many tech companies have offered for years, but none of them felt willing to do it as enthusiastically as Apple. From early on in Tuesday’s presentation, Siri offered up options to remotely prevent anyone from automatically accessing a device. With Face ID, Apple now offers the ability to track if someone tries to access an account from a specific device.
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In addition to establishing privacy initiatives, Apple also took the opportunity to tweak its own service. For the first time, FaceTime will now allow two-way calling and live video chat. In addition, it added a Family Sharing feature that allows a family to share a unified inbox, calling, mail and photo functionality.
Snapchat parent company Snap made a splash by pitching the idea of a geofilter and custom Story filters to a crowd of 3,000 developers at its event in San Francisco last week. Apple’s founder, Tim Cook, used his company’s event to join the ARChat battle, saying, “The next five years will be defined by AR and Apple is going to lead.”