According to a new Apple patent, “Electronic Device Operation Adjustment Based on Face Detection,” your future iPad or iPhone might be able to use its front-facing camera to recognize your facial features, unlocking the device and loading specific apps.
Currently, there’s no real way for iPad users to have customized profiles on iPads that are shared between family members, but this patent hints that Apple could be working on an ultra-customized solution.
The patent states that specific apps or functions could be launched based on the user currently viewing the iPad, which could be the first step towards separate iPad accounts for family members. For example, this system could launch certain apps and games for mom and dad, but provide an entirely different set of programs for the kids, making it much easier to share devices among family members.
Not only would the iPad load customized profiles, it could also potentially unlock when it recognizes the person who picks it up, which is some hi-tech sci-fi stuff, not to mention ultra convenient. Facial recognition could potentially keep your iPad safe from snoopers, young children, and would-be thieves.
There’s also a section in the patent that details how the front-facing camera could be used to automatically adjust images on the screen based on the orientation of a user’s face. This would provide non-distorted images and text at any angle, for a clearer viewing of the screen no matter where you are located in relation to the iPad.
Of course, Apple has patents on many potential technologies, so there’s no word on when we might see such technology implemented, or whether we’ll see it at all, but this is one set of features that I’m hoping makes it into our iDevices.