With the announcement of Apple’s brand new iPhone X the blind and vision impaired community has been buzzing about one of the biggest changes to the iPhone, the removal of the Home button and the addition of Face ID. We have grown very comfortable with our familiar Home button. After all, it’s been a very consistent part of our smart phone that we use probably dozens of times a day to perform a variety of tasks since the iPhone 3GS. Change is scary and sometimes, especially when it comes to technology it can be far too easy to assume that we will be left out.
I totally get it. There are tons of “What if” situations. What if I keep my eyes closed too much? What if I have prosthetic eyes? What if I grow facial hair or change my hair color? These would all be reasonable questions if we were looking at any other company than Apple, but we are working with the most inclusive company there is. This is the company that made the very first out of the box accessible smart phone when it wasn’t popular or cost effective. This is the company that took the time to make videos featuring individuals with disabilities using their technology to live, work and play. This is a company that has an entire dedicated team committed to accessibility in every single device that they produce.
Apple takes care to include individuals with disabilities in everything that they do and Face ID will not be an exception. It is expected that Face ID will have dedicated settings that can be customized for accessibility settings including for use with VoiceOver. Given that this will be a brand new feature, however, I would expect that it won’t work perfectly every time for sighted and visually impaired individuals alike. When that happens, you will always be able to use a passcode to still be able to gain access to your phone.
I have also read concerns on social media about the security of FaceID. Apple stated that they literally scanned a billion images to make sure that security could not be compromised. It is not possible to trick the Face ID with a photograph of an individual to gain access because of the advanced 3D camera technology in the iPhone X camera.They only exception, which Apple acknowledged, is if you are a twin…which is understandable given that an identical set of twins would likely not be able to be distinguished by a machine.
Based on the history of Apple, once a new feature is introduced it tends to stay in subsequent models for years to come. Face ID is here to stay and as Apple stated in their Fall 2017 Special Event, this is the next standard for smart phones. Luckily, for those that still have reservations, there are plenty of iPhone models to choose from that will allow for the more traditional Touch ID and passcode security access.
What do you think about Face ID? Do you trust its security? Will this feature prevent you from purchasing an iPhone X? Let me know in the comments below.