What you need to know
- Apple has published a patent that could use Face ID to detect the orientation of a device.
- It might one day mean your iPhone could establish your device orientation using your face.
- It would mean you no longer need orientation lock to stop your iPhone freaking out whilst lying down or in bed.
An Apple patent published Thursday, April 2, has revealed technology that could solve the problem of using your iPhone or iPad whilst lying down.
The patent is titled 'USING FACE DETECTION TO UPDATE USER INTERFACE ORIENTATION' and its abstract states:
The patent notes that often sensors "cannot accurately or confidently determine the orientation of the device relative to gravity and the device will not change or update the orientation of the content to the proper orientation for the user or will update the orientation incorrectly". No doubt you've experienced this whilst using your phone lying down or trying to unlock your phone with Face ID from a funny angle, or whilst its on a flat surface.
The solution would use face orientation data, obtained from Face ID, to determine not only the position of the phone but that position relative to you:
This could mean that if you're using your phone lying down, in bed, or at a slightly funny angle for whatever reason, it could use a picture of your face to determine what orientation the device should be in. This would of course, stop your iPhone switching to landscape mode whilst you lie in bed and reduce the need for orientation lock.
As a patent, it's just an idea at this stage, but boy do we need this.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9