- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2013

First Apple introduced a fingerprint sensor to unlock its latest iPhone 5 device. Now, the company says it’s been awarded the rights for another security patent — for facial technology.

The Daily Mail reported that Apple on Tuesday was granted U.S. Patent No. 8,600,120, a “personal computing device control using face detection and recognition.”

The facial recognition technology could be used to unlock certain features on the phone, and keep out anyone who’s face isn’t registered with Apple as an authorized user, AppleInsider reported.

The technology isn’t entirely new in the high-tech telephone market. Samsung Galaxy already used facial recognition software on its devices, The Daily Mail reported.

But Apple’s newly acquired patent — believed by industry insiders to be in the works for the company’s iPhone 6 model — includes three distinct features: The first, the facial detection application that allows for actual faces to be identified, no matter the background images. The second, the actual facial recognition technology, that identifies select and authorized faces. And the third, the application that lets Apple act on the facial data it collects — and either allow or lock out phone access, The Daily Mail reported.

The next iPhone’s projected release date is spring 2014.

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