Adding to the trail of breadcrumbs that may lead to Apple Inc. putting facial-recognition user-ID capability into the iPhone, the company has purchased yet another startup that has relevant technology.
Apple in February purchased Israeli firm RealFace, which has developed a deep learning face-authentication technology, Macworld reports. The startup’s LinkedIn page indicates the company’s technology fits squarely into the user-ID scenario for Apple.
“Our software enables authentication, automated on-boarding and mobile conversion optimization using the most advanced deep learning methods, focusing on a frictionless user experience,” the RealFace page states. “Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms.”
The RealFace acquisition represents Apple’s third purchase in the facial-recognition sector in recent years. Apple in 2010 purchased Swedish facial recognition company Polar Rose. In 2016, Apple bought Emotient, which offered technology that can detect moods by looking at people’s faces.
At the same time, a growing chorus of experts is saying that Apple will add user-ID facial-recognition capabilities to the next version of the iPhone, potentially replacing the existing Touch ID system. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicted it in January. JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall chimed in with the same outlook in February.
The use of facial recognition would allow a user to unlock their iPhone simply by looking at it. This would fit in with Apple’s strategy of offering products with elegant and easy-to-use features.
Pratik Dhebri is senior director of product management at Veritone. He works with AI developers and cognitive engine providers to architect and monetize algorithms and applications. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.