You can still unlock your iPhone with Face ID while wearing this crazy mask

Face ID
Face ID (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Unlocking an iPhone with Face ID requires your eyes, nose, and mouth to be visible.
  • That means wearing face masks is a no-no.
  • But this face mask works just fine.

If there's one thing that every iPhone owner with a face mask has noticed since the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, it's that Face ID doesn't work when your face is obscured. That's by design, of course, but that doesn't make it any more fun to enter your passcode over and over. One product designer has found a way around the whole problem – you just can't get in on the action.

Danielle Baskin noticed that wearing a mask was a problem back in February, so set about finding a fix. After initially trying to just print a face onto a mask she realized that Face ID uses depth to recognize people – that's why it can't be fooled by a photograph of a person's face. The answer? Create a 3D mask with a nose and mouth on it.

The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern picks up the story and it's absolutely worth a watch.

Once a 3D mask is created it can be added as an additional face within the Face ID settings. Once that's done the mask is recognized every time it's worn.

The downside? Baskin says she won't be making this available, although she might help out health professionals if there's a case for these masks to be used in medical facilities.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.