The iPhone maker seems to be preparing a secure facial recognition system. The new patent filed by Apple at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, earlier this week, allows devices to capture a 2D image of a user and then render it, in 3D, to insure better accuracy.
The patent is entitled 3D Object Recognition. This claim describes "a method, device, system, and computer program for object recognition of a 3D object of a certain object class using a statistical shape model for recovering 3D shapes from a 2D representation."
Then, the recovered 3D shape can be compared with similar representations, in the same class of objects. Although the patent can have interesting consumer applications, Apple has highlighted its importance for government agencies.
Due to its secure feature, the patent can be used to verify if the picture, on a person's passport or other identification card, actually matches the owner's face. Also, the new 3D facial recognition system can be used to identify people in video recordings. Apple was able to file this patent after buying Polar Rose in 2010 and further developing its technology.