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New Apple patents for emotion recognition and MacBook face authentication

New Apple patents for emotion recognition and MacBook face authentication

Apple may be inching closer to including Face ID biometrics in its MacBook laptops, based on a newly granted patent.

Tuesday, the U.S. patent office granted Apple patent 11727718, “Light Recognition Module for Determining a User of a Computing Device.” It describes a biometric authentication module built into the MacBook screen’s notch.

As MacBooks are typically thin, the imaging hardware would need to be compact without sacrificing accuracy and user recognition, Apple notes in the filing.

On the same day, an Apple patent application was published for emotion detection. The filing, 11727724, outlines software that estimates emotions in images of faces and imbues avatars with that data.

There is controversy around the idea that algorithms could accurately discern emotions.

The company says it could obtain a latent vector for the image by using an expression convolutional neural network.

Apple also revealed that the algorithm used for estimating emotions may rely on data from some unusual sources. The company lists demographic data, location, phone number, home addresses, social media IDs and even health and fitness data. The collection of this private data needs to comply with local privacy laws, the patent filing notes.

Patents filings from Apple that have recently been published include innovations around iris biometrics and lip-reading.

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