Apple advances Face ID to Create Multiple user Profiles while introducing new 'Privacy Eyewear' and more
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to providing personalized graphical outputs and, in particular, to systems, processes, and methods for displaying vision-corrected graphical outputs and standard graphical outputs on an electronic device. The invention also uniquely describes a user wearing "Privacy Eyewear" that will only the owner of the glasses to read the content on a device display, blocking out people around you from peeking at your content.
Apple notes in their patent background that a large percentage of the human population requires prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to see with sufficient clarity. For example, a person with nearsighted vision (myopia) may have difficulty perceiving far away objects. Similarly, a person with farsighted vision (hyperopia) may have difficulty perceiving nearby objects. In order to view an electronic display, a person with a vision deficiency may need to put on or remove prescription eyewear to avoid eye strain and/or to view the electronic display clearly. If such a person is unable to easily remove or put on the prescription eyewear, it may be difficult to interact with the electronic display and a user experience with the electronic display may suffer.
To improve on this, Apple's invention covers a method of controlling a vision-correcting operation of a portable electronic device may include scanning at least a portion of a face of a user using a sensor, generating a depth map using the scan conducted using the sensor, and determining a similarity score between the depth map and one or more identity maps of a set of stored biometric identity maps that are associated with a registered user. In response to the similarity score exceeding a threshold, the method may further include authenticating the user as the registered user and determining a corrective eyewear scenario using the depth map.
The method may further comprise selecting a display profile that is associated with the corrective eyewear scenario and the registered user and generating a graphical output in accordance with the selected display profile. The corrective eyewear scenario may correspond to the registered user wearing a corrective eyewear. The graphical output may compensate for a vision deficiency associated with the corrective eyewear scenario and the registered user.
Apple's next-gen Face ID could create multiple user profiles covering different hair styles, beard, mustache, glasses, no glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses and so forth.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a side view of an iPhone performing a facial recognition (Face ID) scan of a user and using the optical sensor system #102. The front-facing camera #105 (e.g., a camera designed to detect visible, infrared, and/or ultraviolet light, not shown) may capture images of the dot pattern (e.g., portions of the dot pattern that are reflected from the user's face toward the front-facing camera) and may create a biometric identity depth map and/or a set of biometric identity maps of the face of the user based on the spacing between the individual dots.
Though the "biometric identity depth map" is singular, many different biometric identity depth maps may be created and an aggregation of the biometric identity depth maps may be used to confirm a user's identity. Similarly, any described "depth map" may be a single depth map or may be comprised of multiple depth maps.
For example, if a user initially registers with a clean-shaven appearance, the initial stored biometric identity maps may correspond to the user with the clean-shaven appearance. If the user then begins to grow facial hair, the stored biometric identity maps may vary in accordance with the growing facial hair. In some embodiments, the stored biometric identity maps may vary in response to detecting a user's face at an unlocking procedure, generating depth maps based on the user's face, determining that the depth maps share a high similarity with the initial stored biometric identity maps, and updating the initial stored biometric identity maps to account for the user's change in appearance. By making incremental changes to the stored biometric identity maps, a user's identity may be confirmed even after changes in the user's appearance.
Further, corrective eyewear #108 (illustrated below) may be worn by a user. The corrective eyewear be included in an identity depth map of the face of the user. For example, the light rays #104 may be projected toward the face of the user but may be intercepted by the corrective eyewear before reaching the face. Portions of the corrective eyewear that are transparent to the light rays may permit the light rays to reach the face of the user. The front-facing camera may receive portions of the light rays that reflect from the face of the user and/or from the corrective eyewear and may use the received portions of the light rays to generate one or more depth maps. Though a portion of the light rays may be intercepted, a user's identity may still be determined if the visible facial features of the user meet the threshold similarity score with the created biometric identity depth map.
A subset of scans within the identity profile may additionally be created through the use of the electronic device 100. For example, a user may wear three different types of corrective eyewear. One type may correspond to reading glasses, one type may correspond to prescription glasses, and one type may correspond to sunglasses. In this way, the user may have four different appearances (three appearances for each type of glasses and one appearance with no glasses) each associated with the same identity.
Apple's patent FIG. 2A above illustrates a front view of an electronic device displaying a standard graphical output; FIG. 2B illustrates a front view of an electronic device displaying a vision-corrected graphical output; FIG. 3A illustrates a front view of an electronic device displaying a vision setting menu.
More specifically, Apple's patent FIG. 3A illustrates an example settings screen for a vision setting menu on a display of an electronic device. The electronic device includes an optical sensor system #302, which may include substantially similar modules (e.g., a light emitting module #303 and a camera #305). The iPhone may include text boxes and sliders where a user may input an eyesight prescription or a vision condition.
For example, the presented vision setting menu may contain a text box labeled "Enter Prescription" and four sliders labeled "Nearsighted," "Farsighted," "Presbyopia," and "Astigmatism." Each of the four, or more, sliders may correspond to a different vision condition.
A key new dimension discussed in this patent application covers "Privacy Eyewear." In some embodiments, a user may interact with the calibration graphic to intentionally blur the graphical output presented on the display of the device (iPhone). If a user desires privacy or doesn't want a nearby person to view what is presented on the display, the user may interact with the calibration graphic to make the graphical output illegible.
Apple's patent FIG. 9 below depicts an example process #900 of generating and displaying a privacy screen in response to a facial scan of a user. For a standard graphical output, a user may experience certain privacy concerns. For example, surrounding people may be able to view a display of an electronic device in the possession of the user on, for example, a crowded restaurant or bus.
If the user wanted to view highly sensitive content, the user would either need to move to a more private location or physically block a view-line of the surrounding people. The process depicted here, creates a private graphical output that can only be perceived by a wearing of a particular set of glasses.
At operation #904 above, the processor may detect the presence of a privacy eyewear on the face of the user from the facial scan taken at operation #902. The privacy eyewear may be detected by comparing the depth maps taken from the facial scan taken at operation #902 with previously registered depth maps corresponding to an alternate appearance of the user. The previously registered depth maps may have been marked as "Private" or may otherwise be listed as a private profile.
In some embodiments, the privacy eyewear may be marked with a particular graphic, QR code, bar code, and the like. The processor may detect the presence of the marking and may determine the presence of the privacy eyewear
For more details, review Apple's patent application number 20210350769.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.