Did iPhone X Face ID fail during Craig Federighi’s demo at Apple event? No it didn’t, and Apple has confirmed this and has now explained what exactly happened.
When Apple announced the iPhone X during a media event this past Tuesday, the company was keen to show off the new Face ID security feature during a demonstration on-stage, just as it always does when a major new feature is added to its hardware or software.
Unfortunately, these demonstrations do not always go according to plan, which is why there are usually multiple iPhones, iPads or Macs on hand depending on what is being demonstrated. This is exactly what happened on Tuesday when Apple’s Craig Federighi was showing off Face ID, and things went a little bit awry. Apple has taken the unusual step of releasing a statement following the mishap, keen to point out that it was not a mishap or a fail on the technology’s part at all.
For those who have yet to watch the big unveiling of the iPhone X, things started to go wrong when Federighi attempted to show an iPhone X recognizing his face on-stage. This didn’t work as expected with iPhone showing “Your passcode is needed to enable Face ID” on display.
Being a consumate pro, Federighi immediately switched to the second backup iPhone X that was on hand, and the demonstration continued without a hitch. This caused the Internet to light up with people proclaiming this as a demonstration “fail,” but according to Apple that was not the case and in fact, Face ID worked just as it should have and by design.
So what exactly happened to the first iPhone X? Apple says that the situation arose from multiple people handling the iPhone X while setting the stage up for the event which meant that Face ID kept trying to authenticate. However, following a number of failed attempts, Face ID fell back to the secondary security method which is, as always, a passcode. Touch ID behaves the same way, and this is in fact a desired behavior. Face ID did exactly what it was supposed to do.
Apple’s statement on this is as follows:
People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time, and didn’t realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode. Face ID worked as it was designed to.
So there we have it. There was no Face ID tech “fail” and there is nothing to see here. Move along folks, there were much more interesting things that happened during the event that we should be focusing on instead.
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