Apple’s latest patent could finally bring Face ID to future MacBooks

Apple’s latest patent could finally bring Face ID to future MacBooks

Apple could finally be about to bring Face ID to the Mac.

If you’ve ever opened your laptop, like the rather excellent 15-inch MacBook Air, and wished that it would just unlock itself like your iPhone 14 and iPad Pro, you aren’t alone. The lack of Face ID on Macs is perhaps one of the most disappointing things that pop up every time Apple updates one of its laptops. But that might be about to change.

Apple has been working on technology that could bring Face ID to the Mac for years, and we’ve seen patents relating to such a thing. Now, Apple has been granted yet another and it appears that it still wants to bring one of its best security features to its best Macs.

Face ID incoming?

The new patent, titled “Light Recognition Module for Determining a User of a Computing Device,” was first spotted by AppleInsider and is clearly all about Face ID on Macs – although it stops short of actually saying that. The patent does explain how important it is for a laptop to remain safe and secure due to the data saved on it, going on to say that “to prevent unauthorized users from accessing this sensitive data, these computing devices may incorporate systems and mechanisms for authenticating users.”

However, one problem that Apple has when trying to bring Face ID to the Mac is the lack of space. Laptop displays are much thinner than iPhones, for example, meaning that any adapted Face ID technology “should be compact (or have thin profiles) without sacrificing accuracy of user recognition.”

The fix? The patent suggests that Apple could use “a predetermined pattern of light (e.g., infrared light) and a light detector that is capable of detecting a pattern of light caused by reflection of the predetermined pattern of light from an object (e.g., a user).”

The patent then goes into great detail about the ins and outs of how that would work, as you’d expect from such a document. It also appears to suggest that the biometric technology could be built into an iMac-like desktop computer, complete with a notch.

At this point, it’s important to remember that Apple patents a lot of features and technologies, and not all of them ship. But this is definitely one that we’d like to see arrive in real products sooner rather than later.

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