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Apple continues their work on the possible use of Face ID Heat Mapping to better identify users wearing a Mask & more

1 cover apple heat mapping for face id

 

Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent from Apple that relates to advancing Face ID with the use of heat maps to assess occlusion of landmarks on a user's face in a captured image. At a time when users are wearing COVID masks, heat mapping is a way to assist Face ID remain viable.  

 

Biometric authentication processes are being used more frequently to allow users to more readily access their devices without the need for passcode or password authentication. One example of a biometric authentication process is fingerprint authentication using a fingerprint sensor. Facial recognition is another biometric process that may be used for authentication of an authorized user of a device. Facial recognition processes are generally used to identify individuals in an image and/or compare individuals in images to a database of individuals to match the faces of individuals.

 

In some cases, an image captured of a user during a facial recognition process (e.g., either an enrollment process or an authentication process) may include at least some occlusion of the user in the image. Occlusion of the user includes the blocking or obscuring of the user (e.g., the face of the user or some portion of the user's face) by some object (e.g., a finger, a hand, hair, masks, scarfs, etc.) in the image. Occlusion of the user in captured images may reduce the effectiveness of processing the image in the facial recognition process.

 

Landmark and occlusion heat maps may be generated and used to assess occlusion of landmarks on a user's face in a captured image. Landmark heat maps may be grid representations of the user's face that are used to estimate the location of landmarks on the user's face in the captured image. The occlusion heat map may be a grid representation of the user's face that includes scaled values representing the amount of occlusion in the regions of the grid.

 

The estimated locations of the landmarks may be used in combination with the occlusion heat map to determine if and how much occlusion of the landmarks there may be in the captured image (e.g., an occlusion score for each of the landmarks). Determined values of occlusion for the landmarks may be used to control one or more operations of the device.

 

Apple's patent FIG. 5 below depicts an example of an embodiment of an image input; FIG. 9 depicts an occlusion heat map overlaid onto a map of landmark shapes. You have to enlarge the graphic below in order to see the image of FIG. 9 correctly.

 

2 face ID heat map

 

Apple has added 10 new patent claims to their patent update wherein the first of ten patent claims states:

 

"A method, comprising: capturing an image of a user using a camera located on a device, the device comprising a computer processor and a memory; generating, by the computer processor, at least one landmark map based on the captured image, wherein the at least one landmark map corresponds to a landmark feature of a face of the user, wherein the at least one landmark map has a lower resolution than the captured image, and wherein the at least one landmark map includes a plurality of landmark values for regions of the captured image on the at least one landmark map, each landmark value representing a likelihood that the landmark feature is in a region; generating, by the computer processor, an occlusion map based on the captured image, wherein the occlusion map has the lower resolution than the captured image, and wherein the occlusion map includes a plurality of occlusion values for the regions of the captured image on the occlusion map, each occlusion value representing a likelihood of occlusion in the region; determining, by the computer processor, an occlusion score for the landmark feature on the at least one landmark map, wherein the occlusion score is assessed from the occlusion values for the regions on the occlusion map that correspond to a location of the landmark feature on the at least one landmark map determined from the plurality of landmark values for the regions on the at least one landmark map; and controlling an operation of the device based on the determined occlusion score for the landmark feature."

 

To review the remaining nine new patent claims or other details, check out Apple's continuation patent 20210133428. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.

 

10.51XF - Continuation Patent Report Bar

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