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    October 26, 2017

    [UPDATE] Apple has reportedly reduced Face ID’s accuracy to ramp up iPhone X production

    iPad face ID

    Bloomberg has reported that Apple has apparently managed to circumvent its iPhone X woes by lowering the accuracy of Face ID.

    Face ID enjoyed a momentous launch at Apple’s recent iPhone event by not only seeing its introduction aboard the premium iPhone X, but further enduring a turbulent demonstration at the hands of Craig Federighi.

    While we’ve expected for some time that the iPhone X might either face delay or ship in low volumes thanks to the technical setup of its Face ID sensors, Bloomberg has today reported that Apple has managed to circumvent production issues by lowering the accuracy threshold of its new biometric security standard.

    Read: Apple CEO Tim Cook weighs in, downplays technology behind AR smart glasses

    Though the news is yet unconfirmed, Bloomberg reports that Apple has struggled to field sufficient supply of the delicate mechanisms that constitute the iPhone X’s Face ID sensor, and was recently frustrated by the failure of one of its laser suppliers to deliver components in time for mass production.

    Bloomberg cites that in a bid to ensure the wider usability of Face ID components created at launch – and to minimise failure rates – the company has apparently relaxed its internal specifications for the iPhone X’s 3D sensor.

    At present, Bloomberg reports that Sharp and LG Innotek are working to bring the production yield for dot projectors (the mechanism which fires lasers for the purpose of analyzing one’s face) above 50% – prior reports have indicated that both companies have been delivering components with a usability rate of just 20%.

    It remains unclear as to what specifications Apple may have relaxed, and how this will affect Face ID’s accuracy – the company claimed that Face ID boasts a one-in-a-million failure rate, though whether any figure more than this will be perceptible by consumers remains up for debate.

    UPDATE

    Apple has officially responded to Bloomberg’s story, and has indicated that it has no plans to lower Face ID’s accuracy threshold to produce new iPhone X models at a faster pace.

    A company spokesperson commented that “Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can’t wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.

    Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.”

    Read: According to reports, Apple’s iPhone X hasn’t yet started its final production run

    We’ll be sure to update this story as news develops.

    What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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