The latest patent filing by Apple could change the face of the iPhone and car systems through face detection and gesture recognition. Apple filed a 3D facial recognition patent, “Enhanced face detection using depth information, ” that allows an iPhone or any computer device to take a 3D map of in a frame of a face. The iPhone can then determine how far away the face is and and most likely who the person its.
The patent adds to earlier patents by Primesense, the company that desigsn Microsoft’s original Kinect that Apple later bought in 2013.
A part of the image that is contained within each face detection window is processed to determine whether the face detection window contains a human face. Similar methods may also be applied in identifying other object types.
There are rumors that this process will be enabled in iPhone 8. The original patent shows a computer as the source of the camera/image processing.
Uses for facial recognition include user authentication and car technology. Facial recognition on Android fell short when users discovered that they could unlock their phones with a photograph of themselves with 2D facial recogntion.
3D facial or body recognition could be used to sense the state of the driver, detect gesture controls or read road signs. The patent states,
“For example the methods described herein may be applied in detecting allocations of the hands of an image of a user of a gesture control computerized system so that the posture and motions of the hand can be recognized quickly and reliably in another example these methods may be used in a vehicle mounted system for automatic detection and reading of traffic signs in each of these applications as well as in other applications that will be apparent…”
It’s not just color being used in the invention, “There is further provided in accordance with an embodiment of the president vention a method for image processing which includes capturing a depth map and an image of a scene. In addition to a color camera in imaging assembly captures color 2D images of the scene.” The other images can be gray scale or infrared.
It is not clear what Apple is doing in the realms of automotive development. First there were rumors that Apple was making car. Newer rumors suggest that Apple is working instead on autonomous and automotive software in its project Titan. Apple wrote a letter to NHTSA describing its efforts at AI and machine learning.
There are some serious cases againt Apple for not shutting text messaging and apps while a car is moving. The acclerometer in the iPhone can detect that a car is moving but can’t detect who is driving. If this invention were deployed, the iPhone could see that the iPhone owner is driving and only allows certain functions, dependent upon the state of the driver, the state of the car and the what th road sign says. For instance if the driver is stopped at a stop sign, the driver may be allowed to send a text message. Of course Apple files thousands of patents on technology the company may never use.
In the case with CarPlay the iPhone could deploy gesture control where a swipe changes the music like in high-end luxury cars. Or a wave could hang up the call.
Meanwhile, since the introduction of iOS 8, drivers who love the functionality of iPhones with Bluetooth technology bemoan what happens with every iOS update. A small percentage of owners after the update can’t stream music or can not make or receive Bluetooth phone calls. If you have experienced iPhone Bluetooth problmes please let us know after reading our latest articles.