Unlocking Your iPhone X With Face ID Might Not Work If You're Wearing This Accessory

by Collette Reitz

It's been a couple of weeks since Apple's iPhone X release, and if you were able to get your hands on the latest iPhone, you've probably been busy exploring all the new features of the iPhone X. One of the major changes is the introduction of Face ID to unlock your phone (instead of Touch ID). While the use of facial recognition is a very cool tech upgrade, you might have some questions about how to properly use this new feature. For instance, you might be wondering, "Does Face ID work with sunglasses?"

According to Fortune, the answer is yes — mostly. Thanks to an email sent from Keith Krimbel, a developer and product designer, a couple of questions regarding the use of Face ID have been cleared up. Krimbel sent an email to Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, asking if the Face ID function works with sunglasses. He also asked what might happen if a thief stole your phone and tried to unlock it by pointing at your face before running off with it.

Let's start with the sunglasses query. Since the facial recognition technology uses the TrueDepth camera system and reads your face by projecting a grid of 30,000 invisible light dots onto it, it makes sense to wonder how an impediment like sunglasses might get in the way.

Thankfully, according to Federighi,

Most sunglasses let through enough IR light that Face ID can see your eyes even when the glasses appear to be opaque. It’s really amazing!

That really does sound amazing, and it's good news to hear that blocking out harmful UV rays and unlocking your iPhone X with Face ID doesn't have to be an either/or issue. Of course, Federighi did qualify his statement by saying that the Face ID will function "with most, but not all" sunglasses, so if you happen to be rocking shades that don't fall into the "most" category, you may have to take your specs off to unlock your phone — a small price to pay to have the ability to unlock your iPhone X with your face like you're a super spy.

While the new Face ID technology is the future of the iPhone, its arrival led to the removal of the old Touch ID method (and home button) of unlocking your phone. So, if you were used to pressing the home button to unlock your phone, you'll have to get used to the new facial recognition technology. The even better news, though, is that unlocking your phone isn't the only thing that you can use the facial recognition for.

You can also use it to create Animojis, which are animated versions of some of your favorite emojis. The TrueDepth camera system reads your face, similar to when your unlock your phone, and then it records your facial movements, and integrates them into the emoji of your choosing.

OK, so the last question that Krimbel posed to Federighi (regarding someone stealing your iPhone X) isn't fun to think about — but that's life, right? Life can't always be unicorns and Animoji karaoke (unfortunately). I'll preface Federighi's answer by saying that I hope you don't ever find yourself in a situation where you need to utilize the following tips. But having said that, it is good to know this kind of practical knowledge, because then you will be prepared should it ever happen.

Krimbel asked if a thief could hold your phone up to your face and unlock it before running off. Thankfully, Federighi responded that if you don't stare at the phone, it won't unlock, and you can also disable the Face ID function by holding down both buttons on either side of the iPhone X. So, in the (hopefully) unlikely event that someone steals your iPhone X, you can still prevent them from accessing your personal information.

As with any new technology, there will be a learning period, and it's important to ask questions in order to make sure that you're getting the most out of your iPhone X.

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