Does Face ID really fail to differentiate between Identical Twins?


When Apple unveiled its iPhone X and Face ID in September, the first question that came to everyone’s mind was: Will Apple’s Face ID be able to differentiate between the identical twins?

To find that out Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff decided to pull a test using two sets of identical twins.

Remember that It’s Apple’s first-ever iPhone with a face-mapping technology that can be used for Apple Pay verification, unlocking phones, etc., essentially replacing Apple’s Touch ID.

Before we head on to the conclusion of the test, we would like to give our verdict if the trade-off actually makes sense. Let us make it easier for you to do the math.

According to Apple, the Face ID is more secure than Touch ID. Why? Because Face ID has a false acceptance rate of 1 in a million, while it’s just 1 in a 50,000 for Touch ID.

About the Mashable’s test that they ran on two different sets of identical twins. One of the twins from both were asked to register their face in Face ID which to confirm if the other counterpart could unlock it. Not so interestingly, the unregistered twins were able to unlock their sibling’s iPhone.

“With both sets of twins, the other twin unlocked the iPhone X, even though neither one had registered his face with Face ID on the iPhone X. With the Franklin twins, we had both brothers remove their glasses and had the other brother register. Again, Face ID failed to tell the difference. “

But interestingly, Business Insider’s also ran the rests and their results are contrary to the Mashable’s Twins Test.

“I was pretty shocked that the iPhone X could really pick apart the details between me and my brother considering some of our own family members can’t tell us apart. So, yeah, it was a pleasant surprise knowing that Brian can’t break into my iPhone X and I can’t break into my brother’s.

Whatever the tests say, it’s worth noting that Apples itself admits that the Face ID can’t distinguish between the identical twins. This was made clear during Apple’s iPhone X unveiling on September 12. This is what Schiller said then:

“The chance that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it with their face is about one in one million. Of course, the statistics are lowered if that person shares a close genetic relationship with you. So, for example, if you happen to have an evil twin, you really need to protect your sensitive data with a passcode.”

But there’s something else that Apple said which turns out be a silver lining. If you haven’t been familiar with the new A11 Bionic chip, Apple says that its built-in neural engine will get smarter over time, which could mean that it may be able to differentiate between identical twins in the future.

Note: All content is original & written by NewsCrux Team.