iPhone X: What is Face ID?

With the release of iPhone X, Apple also introduced its facial recognition, Face ID. Exclusively only for the iPhone X, Face ID can identify a user’s face with infrared and visible light scan for other phone features.

So how does this technology work? Is it secure? How do you set it up? Find out everything you need to know about Face ID below!

What is Face ID?

Similar to fingerprint recognition, facial recognition is a form of biometric authentication. Instead of a password, Face ID identifies the unique features on your face.

Even if you change your hairstyle, wear a cap, or scan your face in a dark environment, Apple promises users that Face ID will be able to recognize their faces accurately.

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How does it work?

The technology behind Face ID relies on the TrueDepth camera in the iPhone X.

Once it detects a face, the TrueDepth camera projects over 30,000 infrared dots and creates a 2D infrared image and a depth map of the face. Then, a sequence of 2D images and depth maps are formed, randomized, and transformed into a mathematical representation of your face. This facial data is to prevent digital and physical spoofing.

According to Apple, the chances of someone else unlocking your Face ID is one in a million.

How secure is Face ID?

Apple doesn’t gather or store any data about you if you’re worried about your information getting leaked.

Secure Enclave, a special tamper-resistant chip in Apple devices will collect all the data and only respond with limited information in situations like unlocking for Apple Pay.

With its current hardware, it’s unlikely any facial information can be extracted. App developers can also protect encryption keys with Face ID with Secure Enclave, increasing the security level.

How to set up Face ID?

Just like Touch ID, you need to register your facial data in settings.

iPhone will use the front camera to display your face, overlay your face with quasi-3D markings to show your eye line and facial center. Then, the software will capture your facial features as they prompt you to move your head around.

Must I use Face ID?

Face ID doesn’t have to be the only way you unlock your phone. If you dislike Face ID or find it inconvenient, you can always switch to using a passcode.

To disable Face ID, all you need to do is head to your settings.


iPhone X’s Face ID is a proof of how far technology has advanced. It wouldn’t be long till we come up with a better and more secure way to gather and store crucial data.

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