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Face ID: unlock iPhone even with the faceplate

Face ID: unlock iPhone even with the faceplate

By Giacomo Martiradonna Thursday 9 April 2020

Yes, it is possible to instruct the Face ID to recognize our face even if we wear a mask. Here's how it's done.

Unlock Face ID with faceplate

After the question of fogging with masked glasses, we would like to address another phenomenon that is no less annoying: the fact that iPhone no longer recognizes us when we wear respiratory PPE. The good news that Face ID can train you to unlock your phone even if we wear the mask.

Glasses and mask: how to avoid tarnishing them

Glasses and mask: how to avoid tarnishing them

If, while wearing the mask, the glasses always fog up, here are two solutions to avoid this annoying phenomenon.

A researcher from the Tencent Xuanwu Lab in China found out; it takes a few minutes to set everything up, but then you are recognized not only with the mask: you can even put on glasses.

Train Face ID

The problem that you cannot train Face ID by simply wearing the mask; in fact, the sensor is intelligent enough to understand that it is not looking at a human face, or at least a whole face. The trick therefore consists in fold the template in two and use it to cover only half of the face.

Care must be taken to obstruct all parts of the face that would be covered, including (half of) the mouth and the tip of the nose. We advise you to do some tests in front of the mirror, then open Settings Face ID and code and select Configure alternate appearance (we explain what it is used for here); then, follow the instructions on the screen, always keeping the half mask firmly in place.

If the option does not appear why you have already used it; in this you will have to touch Initialize Face ID and repeat learning from the beginning, with and without the half mask.

Practical advice

If the Face ID training app does not recognize a face, move the mask slowly to cover yourself even more; as soon as the system "hangs" on the face, rotate the head as usual.

Another important thing: the mask must always remain in place, and it must never move relative to the half of the face on which it adheres.

According to the results of the Xuanwu Lab, the trick works with "any type of medical protection, including N95 masks, those equipped with breathing valves, etc.". If you can fold (or cut) in half, you should be successful.

The only thing they have not verified is if, in this way, the level of security is compromised; but it is probable that – given the great variety of types of masks on the market – there are in fact no big differences.

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