iPhone 13 May Feature Upgraded Face ID That Works With Masks and Foggy Glasses

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Apple is currently testing new Face ID hardware that could allow users to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask or foggy glasses, according to leaker Jon Prosser.

face id prototype 1
Render of the upgraded Face ID prototype case.

Via his website FrontPageTech.com, Prosser explained that Apple is testing more advanced Face ID hardware using a case that fits snugly around an iPhone 12. The case allows the ‌iPhone‌ to bypass its built-in Face ID system to use that of the case instead.

Prosser believes that the prototype Face ID array matches the exact layout depicted in CAD files of the iPhone 13 from earlier this year. This is because the prototype Face ID hardware in the case is considerably narrower than that of the ‌iPhone 12‌, which would line up with the slimmer notch that is expected on the iPhone 13 models.

The external Face ID hardware was apparently needed due to large-scale tests that were being performed to collect as much data as possible. This is said to have allowed Apple to give a large number of employees new hardware without distributing an unreleased ‌iPhone‌.

Participating employees were asked to wear combinations of face masks and glasses in a range of conditions to test the new hardware. Employees were simply asked to perform the tests but were not told what specific changes had been made to the Face ID sensor array in the case.

The new hardware reportedly allows iPhones to unlock with Face ID while wearing a mask, without the aid of an Apple Watch, and with foggy glasses.

While Prosser highlighted the striking similarity of the case’s Face ID hardware with the expected smaller notch on the upcoming ‌iPhone 13‌, it is not clear if this improved Face ID will arrive with the ‌iPhone 13‌ or a future ‌iPhone‌ model.

The tests were apparently conducted recently, so Prosser suggested that if the improved Face ID is not immediately available with the ‌iPhone 13‌, it could be introduced with a later software update.

Prosser elected to not share the images of the alleged prototype unit due to identifying marks found on it and shared a number of renders based on the images instead.

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