How Does Apple Face ID Work so Smoothly?

In 2017, with iPhone X, Apple replaced the Touch ID fingerprint scan system with the new Face ID, facial recognition system. This amazing feature is available on all the latest iPhone models and would be present in all future models.

How does this Face ID feature works?

1. Sensors

  • Dot Projector – This will project over 30,000 invisible dots on your face, which measures your face’s depth and structure. Hence, it creates a 3D map or mathematical model of your face.
  • Infrared Camera – The purpose of this camera is to interpret the information from the dots and capture the image.
  • Flood illuminator – This sensor enables you to use Face ID even when it is dark.

2. Neural Networks

Your phone would match your face’s mathematical model against the one you have uploaded while setting up Face ID. If it is a match, then it would unlock your phone or authorize a payment. All this scanning happens in real-time inside a neural network. Apple has trained this neural network with billions of images and facial angles worldwide for precision and accuracy.

3. Bionic Neural Engines

A bionic neural engine is used for special machine learning algorithms to enable Face Id feature. Apple uses the A13 Bionic neural engine for the latest iPhones. These are special hardware chipsets that can perform billions of operations per second in real-time.

This gives you an overall idea about the technology behind Apple’s Face ID. You need not dive deep into the technology and hardware. Apple has enhanced its Face ID feature with every new iOS release. It supports more angles, has become faster, and can even work if the device is kept flat. In the Face ID feature of iOS 13.5, it can detect if you are wearing a mask and skipping it directly to the passcode screen.

How safe is Face ID?

Apple has worked hard to ensure that this technology is protected against spoofs and fake people. It had engaged professional mask makers and make-up artists to train the neural model against all kinds of bypass attempts. Also, the entire processing happens on the bionic chip, which means, your facial image data never leaves your phone and goes to a server. The facial recognition technology requires your attention and would not work if your eyes are closed or if you have face turned away.

How to setup and disable Face ID?

Face ID is easy to setup –

Go to Settings ? Face ID ?Enter passcode ?Enroll Face option ?Select Get Started ? Position your face within the frame as per the instructions ?Move your head slowly for better image capture

This technology is self adaptable, and even if you grow a beard or put on a new hairstyle, it can adapt itself and still work accurately.

To disable this feature, you need to press the side button and the volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. If you wish to reactive this system, enter the passcode and enable Face ID.


This feature is indeed ahead of the fingerprint scan technology in terms of simplicity, ease of use, and security. Apple’s innovative thought process and technological advancements always allow it to stay ahead in the game.