Apple has just launched Vision Pro, which is a whole new product category. And to secure it, without forcing the user to enter their access code all the time, the firm had to invent a brand new biometric sensor, called Optic ID. This works more or less like Touche ID and Face ID, but instead of identifying the user with a fingerprint or facial recognition, Optic ID uses unique information from the user's iris .
And, in a new support page published on its website, Apple details how this brand new sensor works. “When you set up Optic ID, eye-safe, spatiotemporally modulated near-infrared light illuminates the eye, so Apple Vision Pro eye cameras can capture images of your iris”, we can read in this new documentation. Then, these images are transmitted into the secure enclave of the M2 chip, which converts the information into mathematical representation. Then, during authentication, the system only compares these mathematical representations, to confirm that it is the same iris.
Apple also specifies that like Face ID and Touch ID, Optic ID keeps biometric data on the device and that the data is encrypted. And the chance of someone being able to unlock a Vision Pro that doesn't belong to them would be 1 in 1 million. In addition, after 5 unsuccessful attempts, the system asks you to enter the access code, like on smartphones.
New habits to acquire
In addition to being used to unlock the Vision Pro headset, this identification system can also be used by developers to identify users of their apps on Vision Pro. Moreover, the mobile applications available on Vision Pro which already support Face ID and Touch ID support Optic ID automatically. As a result, users of the new Apple product will use Optic ID very often.
“Once you unlock Vision Pro or authenticate into an app, Optic ID continuously tracks your eye area visibility through Apple Vision Pro eye cameras. While you continue to wear the device, if you need to authenticate again, this ongoing tracking is used by Optic ID for authentication”, says Apple.
And to avoid accidental payments (since Optic ID also allows them to be validated), the Vision Pro headset only validates a purchase if the user looks directly at the app which makes this payment and only if the payment slip is visible.
- Instead of Touch ID or Face ID, Apple's Vision Pro headset identifies users using a new sensor called Optic ID
- This is a new biometric sensor that identifies the user using their iris
- Apple says that the probability of a person unlocking an Apple Vision that does not belong to them is 1 in 1 million
- Optic ID is also used as a means of authentication for apps and to validate payments
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