Rumor: Apple's iOS 5 to support facial recognition?

The next version of Apple's iOS portable operating system could allow developers to create applications that support facial recognition in the products that use the OS. 9to5Mac.com reports via unnamed sources that iOS 5 will have an API that will give any creators of apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch the ability to integrate such technology into future software projects. The story states that the facial recognition tech is due in part to Apple's acquisition of a Sweden based company called Polar Rose. Apple bought the company in 2010 which developed face detection algorithms.

The story says that Apple itself doesn't have any plans to release apps that will take advantage of the new iOS facial recognition technology. However the article adds that it has seen the APIs that it has developed for the third party software creators. One of them is called CIFaceFeature which "can determine through an image where a person’s mouth and eyes are located."

This is just the latest Internet rumor about what iOS 5 might have inside. A few days ago another rumor hit the net that suggests that the operating system will also have voice controlled features that will allow iPhone users to speak into the phone to perform tasks such as finding the time for a movie and scheduling a meeting at the movie theater with friends. We should learn a lot more about Apple's plans for iOS 5, and indeed for the next version of its iPhone, sometime this fall, perhaps as early as September.

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16 Comments

Boz said,
I would say this will most likely apply more to FaceTime than anything else really.

How does calling somebody require facial recognition? Surely you know who you're calling, because you just called them. You also know who just called you because their name comes up.

I'm confused at your statement.

TCLN Ryster said,

How does calling somebody require facial recognition? Surely you know who you're calling, because you just called them. You also know who just called you because their name comes up.

I'm confused at your statement.

Not really my fault you can't understand it now is it?

But here, I'll enlighten you. The face recognition software can bring many useful actions within the FaceTime itself, especially when you have 2 people on one side of the conversation and you can have a device/Facetime software do some task related functions while the person is actively talking. It can also be used to recognize which person is talking based on facial expression, mouth movements and then provide information or actions based on that person etc..

Not saying it's not useful for apps too, but it makes sense more that Apple would integrate this with FaceTime, with iPhone's photo capabilities where taking a photo would try to match people in your contacts or whatever. But the most likely application and the most creative ones can be done while video chatting with someone.

Actually Google has this technology. They demoed it at Google I/O.

it's a gimmick at best on personal devices, but there is always the government wanting to get those info too.

LAMj said,
it's a gimmick at best on personal devices, but there is always the government wanting to get those info too.

Apple is all about gimmicks and due to their fan following alone make them profitable. I can't imagine this being that useful on any mobile device. It seems more like grasping for straws to me than thinking " what could the user need? "

I dunno, if iOS 5 had any new or original features, I would have thought they'd have been shown off when everything else was shown off... If any of these rumors turn out to be true, I'd say it was a result of Apple scrambling in response to the backlash from the iOS 5 announcement and won't have the polish people are used to.

M_Lyons10 said,
I dunno, if iOS 5 had any new or original features, I would have thought they'd have been shown off when everything else was shown off... If any of these rumors turn out to be true, I'd say it was a result of Apple scrambling in response to the backlash from the iOS 5 announcement and won't have the polish people are used to.

What backlash? iOS 5 was pretty well received, and runs very well already. They had to hold some stuff for the iPhone 5 announcement, and this is probably one of those things. Another is some sort of traffic/turn by turn.

episode said,

What backlash? iOS 5 was pretty well received, and runs very well already. They had to hold some stuff for the iPhone 5 announcement, and this is probably one of those things. Another is some sort of traffic/turn by turn.


I dunno didn't seem very well received by all the complaints about how it didn't add any new features and instead just copied features from other mobile OS's...

M_Lyons10 said,
I dunno, if iOS 5 had any new or original features, I would have thought they'd have been shown off when everything else was shown off...

They did mention that there would be 1500 new APIs. Out of these new APIs, why would they specifically show off the ones handling facial recognition, especially if Apple hasn't built anything that uses them?

I'd say it was a result of Apple scrambling in response to the backlash from the iOS 5 announcement and won't have the polish people are used to.

Really weird logic here. As episode said, "iOS 5 was pretty well received, and runs very well already". Apple is not scrambling to shove anything in iOS 5.

Manish said,

They did mention that there would be 1500 new APIs. Out of these new APIs, why would they specifically show off the ones handling facial recognition, especially if Apple hasn't built anything that uses them?


Really weird logic here. As episode said, "iOS 5 was pretty well received, and runs very well already". Apple is not scrambling to shove anything in iOS 5.


Funny how the news and reactions following iOS 5's announcement and feature preview go against that, but if episode says it, it mst be so. LOL. Surely he's not jaded like other iFans...

M_Lyons10 said,

Funny how the news and reactions following iOS 5's announcement and feature preview go against that, but if episode says it, it mst be so. LOL. Surely he's not jaded like other iFans...

I don't know... I've had iOS 5 since beta 1 on my iPhone 4 and with each beta it gets better and better. Beta 1 was flaky but two and three were not bad at all. Beta 4 carries it's issues though.

I'm pretty sure this has already been confirmed. Apple always keep things back, no point giving out all your new features in one go or the competition will get in there first!

Is this actually a rumour? The original 9to5Mac article links to the Apple Developer site, so surely these APIs exist?

Wish they would hurry up already. Syncing via USB is a pain in the ass on this crap PC. A single 3MB MP3 can take minutes to sync. My 8GB library took over 12 hours.

SK[ said,]Wish they would hurry up already. Syncing via USB is a pain in the ass on this crap PC. A single 3MB MP3 can take minutes to sync. My 8GB library took over 12 hours.

What are you syncing over, USB 1.1?

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