Authentication and identity are still, despite more than six decades of computing, a serious challenge for those designing secure systems. Over recent years, fingerprint scanners have become far better to the point where the TouchID scanner on my iPhone works flawlessly. But if the rumours are right, the next iPhone will use facial recognition.
Facial recognition tech is already part of Windows 10 through it’s Hello system as long as you have a system with a compatible camera. That’s one that uses the Intel RealSense system.
If the rumours are right, the new iPhone that’s expected in September this year will boast a bezel-less design. That means there won’t be a button on the front in which to integrate the TouchID sensor. That’s forced Apple to move to Plan B – using a camera for facial recognition.
This throws all sorts of questions such as how Apple Pay will work and whether photo quality will suffer.
But it also heralds mass adoption of facial recognition for authentication. That means passwords and codes could start to fade from use. Apple is also moving to app-specific passwords for their own apps, as well third-party ones. So, once an app is set up, there won’t be any need to remember a password ever again.
Apple has rarely been the first to bring a new technology to market. Their success has largely come from solving complex problems in ways that make users’ lives easier.
If they get facial recognition right, and negate the need for users to ever use a password, then they might be on the way to making passwords obsolete.