WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The internet was in a frenzy when an Apple demo for iPhone X face-recognition unlocking feature failed.
- But in reality, the Face ID app of the $999 iPhone X is working perfectly.
- The sad part is, media was merciless in headlining the news about the “failed” demo of Apple’s new flagship phone onstage.
Apple software head Craig Federighi’s live demo for the iPhone X’s face recognition technology was not successful on its first attempt.
As he was starting the demo, he said “Unlocking it is as easy as looking at it and swiping up,” he said, picking up the phone at his podium. “And—you know—“
By just one look at the CEO’s face, something was not right.
He turned off the screen and said, “Let’s try that again… Ho ho ho! Let’s go to backup here!” obviously turning it off didn’t fix it.
He took another backup demo phone and this time, the Face ID feature worked flawlessly, and Federighi continued with his demo.
Headlines from numerous media were brutal announcing that iPhone X Face ID had failed.
Business Insider wrote: “Apple’s Face ID unlocking failed during its big demo.”
The Telegraph said, “Apple suffers embarrassing demo Face ID fail at iPhone X launch.”
While Vice’s headline was “Apple’s stock suddenly dropped after that Face ID fail.”
But the truth is, the Face ID worked excellently. It seems someone at Apple while setting up the demo iPhone, had restarted it before the show. The screen said, “Your passcode is required to enable Face ID”. That explained Federighi’s surprise.It’s an iPhone’s security measure to prevent others from hacking the phone.
Apple consultant Chuck Rogers explained that “Your fingerprints aren’t actually stored in your iPhone. The iPhone stores numerical representations of your fingerprints in something called the Secure Enclave. When you place your finger on the Home button/sensor, it compares the numerical representation of your fingerprint scan with what is stored in the Secure Enclave.”
“Your passcode is required when you restart because it unlocks the Secure Enclave. Without entering your passcode at restart, your iPhone cannot recognize your fingerprint(s), because the Secure Enclave is not accessible until after you enter the passcode.”
The demo was quite embarrassing. But the good news is, it was not iPhone X Face ID feature that really failed. In fact, it worked perfectly during the demo.
A representative from Apple explained, “People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time and didn’t realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode.” Meaning, “Face ID worked as it was designed to.”