Before everyone flies off the handle, that Apple is copying Android…let’s look at this for what it is…
Apple is filing for not just a facial recognition patent, but also for a presence recognition patent. In typical Apple fashion, if someone does something, Apple will attempt to take what they did, make it bigger, better and as they say “prefect” it. I’m noting saying that will, but just from reading the patent it looks like they plan on more than just recognizing your users from the shape of their face, eyes or mouth but also the color of their skin. What they intend to do with technology is unknown, obviously face unlocking could be one, but why would you need “presence recognition?” I get the feeling they are going beyond just the idea of unlocking a device with a persons face, which would make their concept different from Android’s, but also unique enough to ensure they are granted the patent.
Will it be approved? Who knows at this point, Apple submits a lot of things and this could be nothing, but with Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich using facial recognition to unlock a device, Apple, and I would even go as far as to say Microsoft, will make some attempt to leap from them.
Source: Patently Apple