In response to the much-anticipated announcement of the iPhone X and its key feature which will employ Face ID instead of Touch ID, vendors in China are responding with a series of products they refer to as ‘protective masks’. The vendors are smart to capitalize on the tide of interest created around the new iPhone. Products developed to create an incredible amount of buzz, both in the industry, and among consumers.
The phone will use TrueDepth camera technology, which involves the splitting of an image by an infrared emitter into thousands of dots. The dots are then run through an infrared camera and proximity sensor for analysis.
With designs that run the gamut of a cross between an alien costume and a burglar mask, to ninja mask, they all promise the same thing: to guard against the iPhone being used while the owner is sleeping. As expected, there is great speculation about whether they work, or if they are even necessary.
The prices start as low as $3 and go up to $135. Regardless of the funny designs and the claims they make, one can not blame local vendors for wanting to cash in on the success of the flagship phone. Just as the success of Apple products seems also guaranteed, any products attached to it, even from small or competing markets, may also have a chance.
Face Recognition Technology: A Cause for Concern?
We’re all familiar with face detection software—the sophisticated technology had begun with the intended purpose of being used as an effective cybertechnology tool for protecting the assets and intellectual property of some of the world’s largest companies. However, in the last few years—as is the case with most technology that is developed—it began to enter our personal lives more and more in the form of face recognition software, which detects faces through image processing algorithms.
The iPhone X is the latest example of this. The ease of use and peace of mind it brings to the user is undoubtedly of great value; however, are there any ethical objections we should bear in mind during this evolution? The main winners who stand to benefit from this software—companies who want to sell their products and law enforcement agencies—will need to be monitored by informed groups and policymakers to ensure that information is not used incorrectly.
Though there is much hype about these masks in China, it’s ultimately the decision of future iPhone X customers whether to use Touch ID or Face ID, a classic argument of the old versus the new.