Skip to main content

How to "see" the crazy dot map the iPhone X uses to scan your face

A flood illuminator makes sure there's enough infrared light to "see" your face, even in the dark, and the dot projector beams a contrasting matrix of over 30,000 points for the camera to map against. (iPhone X review: The best damn product Apple has ever made)

Curious as to what all the TrueDepth tech in the iPhone X's front-facing camera actually looks like? Thanks to enterprising folks on Twitter, we have a pretty good glimpse. In shooting a video of his twins and Face ID tomfoolery, Oliver Thomas used his camera's night vision scope to "see" the actual process of a face scan.

The scan produces a beautiful, starry-night pattern of sorts; if you have the right tools, you can even use it as part of a photo or video shoot.

All you have to do is set up your iPhone X on a tripod at the correct angle, then grab a night vision scope or an infrared camera (some video cameras even come with a 'night vision' option; if you have an old camcorder laying around, you might be in luck!).

You can preview the dot map when your iPhone X is in Portrait selfie mode; angle and position the phone accordingly with your subject, then snap your photo through your vision scope or infrared camera — you'll be using your iPhone X's dot map in a whole other light.

What do you think?

Are you excited to actually see the iPhone X's dot map and experiment with it and photography? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

  • Really cool picture of amazing technology. But I have to take exception to the negative drumbeat over identical twins and Face ID. Apple warned quite clearly that identical twins and children under the age of thirteen may have issues with Face ID yet it’s being discussed as if it’s some covered up discovery that, ha ha ha, proves Face ID doesn’t work and is useless.
  • The best thing about people being trolls and spreading FUD is that they don't do their research, so they're like "HAH, Face ID doesn't work for twins!" and everyone else just facepalmed because Apple themselves already explained this. Trolls will find the smallest of miniscule negatives and blow it into something 1000 times larger, despite it barely affecting anyone
  • Cool picture of some amazing technology.
  • Does anyone know if this infrared technology can pose a health risk? I find myself unlocking my iPhone X dozens of times per day and have not heard anything as to the safety of this mechanism.