The release of Apple’s facial-recognition technology in 2017 was a game changer for the mobile phone industry.
But there was one factor Apple’s developer’s could not have foreseen: Mandatory face masks.
“As many iPhone users have discovered, facial ID with a face mask on doesn’t work,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook told journalists at a product launch event in California overnight.
“But the new iPhone 13 solves that problem. Users can unlock their phones without having to remove their masks.”
The iPhone 13 has taken the market completely by surprise, with none of the pre-release marketing hype that’s accompanied previous iPhone releases.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been working quietly yet tirelessly on this solution,” says Tim Cook.
“We’ve rushed it to market as fast as possible in a bid to help stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Local tech commentator Ray Joolef told Double Bay Today the iPhone 13 is a massive step forward.
“Of course, all iPhone users can simply enter their pass code into their phones if their facial ID doesn’t work, but what if they have a coffee in their hands?” he says.
“With mandatory face masks the new normal in many countries around the world, Apple has once again led the way.”
While speaking at the launch event, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged one potential drawback of the new iPhone.
“Please be warned, users will need to wear the same face mask for the facial ID to work properly. If they change masks they’ll need re-set the feature.”
The iPhone 13 will be available on shop shelves in the USA from tomorrow, and is expected to be released in Australia “within the next few days.”