Apple Purchases an Israeli Facial Recognition Company

In a move reminiscent of Facebook’s 2012 purchase of a facial recognition company Apple has purchased an Israeli facial recognition company called RealFace. The ten-employee company buyout was valued at two million dollars. Back in 2012 Facebook’s plan was to use its petabyte library of photos as reference to identify people when viewed through a phone’s camera. Thankfully it was suppressed by security administrations in the US and Europe. Apple seems to be moving in a different direction than Facebook, using the technology as a security measure.

Apple will undoubtedly use its software as a method of unlocking the iPhone in conjunction to the fingerprint scanner. Apple’s touch ID software has been an IT industry innovation and highly favored over the traditional passcode. Phones can be unlocked faster and conveniently without looking at the screen. Facial recognition will add another layer of security to iPhone and MacBook users. A year ago Apple purchased another facial recognition company that can identify users emotions. There is no word, as of yet, how facial cues will be used with the software.

Traditionally facial recognition has been used in security systems often with fingerprint or iris recognition. As hackers get better and better it is important to increase security on all electronic belongings. Considering that a cellphone can easily contain everything a thief would need to steal an identity, extra security measures should be more than welcome—as long as they do not inconvenience the user. Some are speculating that Apple will drop the fingerprint scanner altogether on the iPhone 8, in reality it is more likely that it will be used as a secondary security measure. The facial recognition software is also used in augmented reality “selfies,” as seen in the popular app SnapChat. Apple may be incorporating similar themes in its own platforms like Messages and Facetime.

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