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Apple Copies Face Unlock from Android, Tries to Patent It

Here’s another example of the pot calling the kettle black and then dusting itself in even more black paint. Apple is set to receive over one billion dollars from Samsung for patent infringements, but it looks like Apple isn’t exactly opposed to copying other people’s ideas either. In fact, they’re going even further and trying to patent other people’s ideas.

What you see here is an Apple patent for a “face unlock” feature on an iPhone. It uses facial recognition by way of the front-facing camera, unlocking the screen that way instead of a passcode or some other security measure. The thing is that this feature already exists on all Android 4.0 ICS Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III. It may not work particularly well in low-light situations, but it’s not exactly a new idea.

That said, it does look like Apple is adding something to the mix. With the Google Android version, you have to press the power button to “wake up” your device from standby and then it will attempt to do the Face Unlock thing. With this supposed Apple patent, the camera will take an initial image when it first locks up. Then, when it detects movement toward a “use” position, the camera will then look for a face and unlock accordingly.

Personally, as interesting as Face Unlock might be, I think it’s more of a novelty than anything else. It’s not exactly useful most of the time, unless Apple is able to vastly speed up the process. I find a “pattern” code is just so much faster.

Via iPhone in Canada

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