Apple may be developing Face ID for Macs

'9to5Mac' has discovered codes referencing TrueDepth and Face ID in macOS Big Sur.

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Mariella Moon
July 25th, 2020
In this article: Apple, Mac, Face ID, TrueDepth, news, gear

You may be able to unlock future Macs with your face, according to 9to5Mac. The publication has uncovered references to the company’s TrueDepth camera, which makes Apple’s Face ID technology possible, in macOS Big Sur. To be precise, the third beta version of Big Sur contains codes supporting “PearlCamera,” the codename Apple used for TrueDepth and Face ID back when it was still working on the iPhone X.

9to5Mac found words such as “FaceDetect” and “BioCapture” in the code, which Apple also uses for iOS. The publication says it closely examined the Face ID extension it found and determined that it was built for macOS. It wasn’t just a remnant that the company forgot to purge.

We’ll likely have to wait a while before Face ID arrives on Mac computers, seeing as the current available models don’t come with TrueDepth cameras. Further, Macs must make the switch from Intel’s chips to Apple’s processors first. One of the technologies that power Face ID is Neural Engine, a dedicated neural network hardware in its A11 Bionic chip that also enable Animoji and other machine learning tasks. Intel chips don’t have the technology, but Apple already confirmed that Macs with Apple chips will have the same Neural Engine as the one found in its mobile devices. The tech giant expects the transition to take around two years.

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