“Unlike Apple’s system, its infrared grid uses 300,000 dots – ten times more than Face ID.”
Huawei is working on a Face ID rival that could be even more accurate than the iPhone X’s flagship facial recognition system.
The system was unveiled at the end of Huawei’s Honor V10 launch event. Like Apple’s flagship system, Huawei’s projects an infrared grid onto a user’s face in order to create a 3D biometric profile, which can then be used to map the user’s facial expressions onto animated emojis, and for user authentication. Unlike Apple’s system, its infrared grid uses 300,000 dots – ten times more than Face ID.
It’s also more than ten times slower – much more – taking about 10 seconds to build its 3D map of the user’s face. But the technology hasn’t yet been perfected, and has not been incorporated into a commercial device; it was showcased at the end of the V10 presentation just to demonstrate that Huawei is hard at work on technologies that can compete with Apple’s.
Huawei hasn’t yet offered any details on when this facial recognition system might find its way onto a device, but its demonstration is the latest clear signal that the iPhone X’s Face ID system has dramatically impacted and reoriented the mobile biometrics industry, with rivals now seeing to emulate Apple’s approach. But with recent news of Face ID’s susceptibility to spoofing, those rivals may also strive for multimodality, with leading competitors like Samsung already incorporating both iris and fingerprint recognition into their devices. Huawei has some time to figure that out for itself, but is evidently intent on making sure that sophisticated facial recognition technology will be in the mix.