Do you also have a smartphone that the face ID with mask not working? You have undoubtedly already experienced that this is difficult when you are wearing your mouth mask in recent months. These are how you can get around that problem, but also why it is actually a good thing that it does not work so optimally.
Suppose you’re standing in the queue at the shop checkout, and your smartphone vibrates in your jacket pocket. You have an iPhone 12, an OnePlus 8 Pro, a Samsung Galaxy S21, or any other of the dozens of smartphones with facial recognition, and look at your screen for a moment so that your smartphone reads your face and unlock. It Can’t, face ID with the mask not working, remember?
You can do a couple of things now. The first is to wait until you’re loading your shopping outside, but it might have been an urgent message from home, possibly about an item that wasn’t on the shopping list. You could choose another access route, such as the fingerprint scanner (some smartphones have both) or the classic code.
None of the above options feel very practical if you are used to just looking at your smartphone to unlock it.
A trick – albeit rather cumbersome – that a few smart people have already come up with is to create a ‘second face’ in the settings of the face recognition on your smartphone.
You can set such an alternative on both iPhones and some Android devices. In principle, you could take a picture of your face with a mouth mask. In many cases, this leads to a new problem: the facial recognition software will tell you that your face is blocked. The trick is to first scan your full face with a vertically folded mouth mask in front of your face, and then have the two sides of your face read with the mouth mask on the other.
It does not work perfectly, perhaps even on some devices (it works on an iPhone 12). Remember I said it already: cumbersome!
Not that safe
Moreover, you actually make your smartphone a lot less safe that way. After all, the built-in facial recognition software has fewer points of comparison with which it can determine that the displayed face is indeed yours.
In short: it is now more likely that someone else with a mouth mask can unlawfully gain access to your smartphone.
Face ID on iPhone, the best facial recognition system currently on smartphones, has 30,000 facial recognition points. With the part of the face obliterated by that face mask, that might be half.
There are indications that facial recognition technology will take into account the fact that we sometimes wear mouth masks in the future. Meanwhile, the more recent versions of iOS already recognize that you are wearing a mask, so Face ID immediately switches to the code menu.
There are also first facial recognition systems for security cameras, such as a system from the American company LeewayHertz, which could recognize faces with a mouth mask on. You can assume that technology will also end up in smartphones sooner or later, although ‘mouth mask recognition’ may no longer be necessary by then.