- Apple could be planning to provide Face ID on Mac computers.
- A code in macOS Big Sur has revealed instances of Face ID imminent on Macs.
- Only some MacBook models support Touch ID biometric solution.
Apple's Mac computers have had the conventional password unlocking system for a long time unless some MacBook models with Touch Bar allow you using your fingerprint to do so, or if you can configure your Apple Watch to unlock the Macs. Unlike Windows 10, macOS still lacks the face recognition feature for unlocking and other authentication purposes. But a code found in the latest macOS Big Sur beta version indicates Face ID for Macs could be in the works.
The macOS Big Sur code discovered by folks at 9to5Mac in the beta 3 version hints at support for "PearlCamera", which is an internal codename for the proprietary TrueDepth camera used on several Face ID compatible iPhone and iPad models. The code has also revealed features such as "FaceDetect" and "BioCapture" that are used on iPhone models to capture face data for authentication. But these codes, the report notes, were "clearly built" for macOS and are not residuals from Apple's Catalyst technology, which allows developers to build their iPad apps into macOS apps.
For everything to work effectively, Apple uses TrueDepth camera on its devices but the same is absent on the current Mac lineup. The existing Mac computers do not have a dedicated neural engine but Apple's upcoming Apple Silicon-powered computers could bring that technology onboard. Neural engine maps the user's face and its details using machine learning. It sits at the crux of the Face ID feature, available on Apple's A-series chipsets that power iPhone X and higher models.
While some of the MacBook Air and Pro models do have Touch ID integrated into the Touch Bar, most iMac models are only relying on the password protection. The iMacs do not have an inbuilt keyboard and since Touch ID uses the T2 security chip, it will be a little difficult for Apple to implement that feature on the separate wireless keyboard. Having Face ID on iMacs will be more than useful in such scenarios and offer an even securer biometric solution for authentication.
Moreover, TrueDepth camera not only enables a safer biometric authentication, but it also opens features such as Augmented Reality for the Mac computers. The macOS Big Sur is arriving with the facility to let users send Memoji and having a TrueDepth camera will enhance productivity. Moreover, the TrueDepth camera can also be used by third-party apps for their AR-related functionalities. For example, an AR-based background in video meetings, because they are into the mainstream now.