How often do you look at the notch on your MacBook and stare daggers and the little camera wondering “why is there no Face ID” after a few hasty failed password attempts? If you’re like me, then probably a lot.
Well, a newly approved patent spotted by Patently Apple suggests this might not be a problem for much longer. The patent relates to Face ID and email access on Mac devices, and could be the beginning of a rollout for this super convenient and secure authentication method across future Apple laptops.
The face verification technology patent actually goes all the way back to 2008, which shows how long Apple has been planning the move. According to LaptopMag, in March 2020 the first signs of Face ID on Mac were made available in a clearer patent application published at the time.
A bit late, don't you think?
The patent is now approved and we’re likely to see Apple jump on it fast. The patent doesn’t just specify authentication for general access to the device, but also for email logins too. This could mirror the way we use Face ID on the iPhone, using it to unlock everything from Apple Pay to individual app log-ins.
We might see this new feature arrive on the M3 MacBook Air or the M3 MacBook Pro next year, so if you’re holding out for a new device and need something to give you that extra motivation to wait a little bit longer, Face ID is an easy sell.
It's a tad frustrating to only see this feature pop up now, in the year of 2023 (or perhaps even 2024) when Windows laptops have had face logins via Windows Hello for years. Very often I look at the camera indent at the top of my MacBook screen and think about how obvious it would be to have Face ID on the laptop - then feel puzzled as to why we don’t have that already.
It feels like Apple has put too much emphasis on the aesthetic of its products and consistently ‘innovating’ when the real focus should be on improving user experience with the tools it has already - or perhaps there have been patent wars going on behind the scenes that have prevented Apple from implementing facial recognition thus far. Either way, I'm glad it's finally coming - even if we might have to wait another year.
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Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.
Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.
Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).