Subtle Face ID security feature

So the iPhone X Face ID demo failed on stage, and of course people dug through the video frame by frame to see what actually happened.

I believed the first story that I read about this which assumed that the phone had been rebooted before the demo and therefore (correctly) was in a state where it required the passcode, but as MacRumours reports, it turns out to be more subtle than that:

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.

The phone did exactly the right thing, but I find this interaction fascinating and it’s actually quite a subtle security feature.

Obviously if someone who you don’t know or trust picks up your phone you don’t want them to be able to unlock it. With Face ID, they’re using their attempts to trick Face ID simply by being in front of it as they handle it. That’s fantastic.

Will this mean that there will be some times when you need to type your passcode in because the phone has seen other people since you last unlocked it? Possibly, but I think that’s OK if it’s creating a more secure phone.

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