Titled “3-D Object Recognition,” the patent describes a new way to generate 3-D facial models with the help of 2-D images.
The new application originates from an earlier patent filed by Swedish firm Polar Rose, which Apple purchased for $29 million in late 2010.
“The present invention relates to automated object recognition and in particular to automated object recognition of 3D objects using statistical shape information,” the document reads.
The function needs photos or videos that show the user’s face from multiple angles in order to create a 3-D representation of his/her face.
Due to the security feature, this technology could be used to identify a person in fields such as immigration, ID cards, passports, computer logon, intranet security, video surveillance and access systems.
Thus, facial recognition on the iPhone 5 could provide increased security compared to 2D recognition systems.