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Apple granted patent for face biometrics with hybrid illumination

The company’s second Face ID patent win in a month
Apple granted patent for face biometrics with hybrid illumination

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Apple a patent for its method of capturing 3D face biometrics with a hybrid lighting system.

The patent for Face ID’s ‘Hybrid mode illumination for facial recognition authentication’ comes after another one the USPTO granted last week, which protects Face ID’s features relying on multi-component vision biometric systems.

The new patent describes methods and systems intended for operating a face biometric authentication process on a device, particularly through the use of flood infrared illumination and patterned illumination.

According to the application, the flood infrared illumination and patterned illumination may be produced by a single illuminator or a combination of illuminators. Flood infrared illumination biometric data may then be generated by analyzing areas in the images between face features in the illuminated pattern. Depth map image data, on the other hand, may be generated by assessing the pattern illuminated on the user’s face in the images.

Both flood infrared illumination data and the depth map image data may be generated separately from the captured images, and then used to authenticate users.

Apple notes that traditionally, devices often separate images captured with different types of illumination to prevent one source of light from affecting the other.

The new technology is described in Apple’s patent 10,990,805, which refers to multiple other patents related to various aspects of Face ID technology.

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