iPhone 5 May Feature Facial Recognition

Posted in iPhone on 25/01/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


It seems that there is some chance that the upcoming iPhone 5 (and perhaps the iPad 2) will feature facial recognition technology.  This idea come’s from Apple’s 2010 acquisition of a Swedish company called Polar Rose – a company known mostly for their mobile face recognition technology called FaceLib.  Of course, this is all still speculation, but I for one hope that we’ll see something come of this.

This new technology, of implemented, could take one (or both) of two roles as I see it.  First, a security role, in which the iPhone can use your face as it’s lock screen pass code.  Secondly, this could be extremely useful for tagging photos, or adding adding name captions to videos.  In the future, I can even see this used to benefit augmented vision systems.  Any contacts that you have photographs of could be instantly retrieved from your contact list, and their names and certain other information could be displayed immediately.

Hell, with awesome augmentation systems such as these glasses from Vuzix, this could happen sooner rather than later.  I, for one, am crossing my fingers.


  • Daniela

    I'm so thrilled about this, I really hope they come with facial recognition, this is the reason why I love Apple.

  • Evan

    Interesting insight. From a pricing standpoint, the technology needed to integrate facial recognition into a phone would, unfortunately, be through the roof. Not to mention the problems that Apple would undoubtedly encounter on a 'security' point of view.

    This is something that looks very cool, however I think it may be premature to suspect it with the next iPhone model.

  • I wonder, Evan… It seems to me that facial recognition is already pretty close. Look how well iPhoto '11 does, for instance…

  • Cameron

    face recognition wont keep your identical twin from unlocking your phone lol

  • iPhone 4 user

    I wish it was a software feature so iPhone 4 users could update their iPhones and use this feature too

  • Evan

    It will certainly be interesting to see. I just have a hard time imagining having to raise your phone level to your face and probably waiting a few seconds, every time you're wanting to unlock your phone.

    Like you said J. Glenn, iPhoto has already done a pretty solid job with Faces, so that technology could easily be implemented for tagging photos and videos.


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he’s up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor’s house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.