Apple is currently testing new Facial ID hardware that could allow users to unlock their iPhone using a mask or cloudy glasses.
Through his FrontPageTech.com website, Jon Prosser explained that Apple is testing more advanced Facial ID hardware using a case that fits perfectly onto an iPhone 12. The case allows the iPhone to bypass its built-in Facial ID system to use the of the cover.
Prosser believes the prototype Face ID array matches the exact layout represented in the iPhone 13’s CAD files earlier this year. This is because the prototype Facial ID hardware in the case is considerably narrower than that of the iPhone 12, which would line up with the thinner notch that is expected on the iPhone 13 models.
External Face ID hardware was apparently needed due to large scale tests being carried out to collect as much data as possible. This is said to have allowed Apple to give new hardware to a large number of employees without shipping a brand new ‘iPhone’.
Participating employees were asked to wear combinations of face masks and eyeglasses in a variety of conditions to test the new hardware. Employees were simply asked to perform the tests, but were not told what specific changes were made to the Facial ID sensor suite in the case.
The new hardware supposedly allows iPhones to be unlocked with Face ID using a mask, without the help of an Apple Watch, and with blurry glasses.
While Prosser highlighted the case’s remarkable Facial ID hardware resemblance to the expected smaller notch on the upcoming iPhone 13, it is unclear whether this improved Facial ID will arrive with the iPhone 13 or with a future iPhone model.
Testing was apparently conducted recently, so Prosser suggested that if the enhanced Facial ID is not immediately available with the iPhone 13, it could be introduced with a later software update.