Face ID Faces Backlash

Infographic about Face ID, the iPhone X, and previous iterations of the iPhone.
Click here to see the full-sized PDF.

In less than a week after being released, the iPhone X’s Face ID was cracked by Vietnamese security firm Bkav after Apple continuously reassured users that the facial recognition system was more secure than Face ID. Using only plastic, silicone, paper, and makeup, the firm was able to crack Apple’s $1,000 flagship phone with a $150 mask. Security experts are now questioning Apple’s new security system citing the company’s claim that Face ID was trained against hyper-realistic masks used in Hollywood productions.

The focus of my graphic is how Face ID works in the iPhone X as I’ve noticed that many have some misconceived ideas about how it operates. It seems that many people are wondering how it’s supposed to work in the dark and if it can be unlocked with just a picture, so I thought it would be nice to create something informative that I’m also interested in.

I spend my free time watching product reviews, reading about new tech trends, and learning about innovative technology so I decided to translate my interests into a graphic. I’ve been wanting to do a graphic with a dark color scheme and technology and dark themes tend to go very well together. I also decided to introduce a new font called “Exo” for this graphic because I think it worked better than Benton Sans for the tech theme I was envisioning. While making it, I imagined tech websites, advertisements, and full-page graphics in magazines to gain some perspective on how to pull off a diagram explaining technical features and specifications.

While I created most of my drawings in Illustrator, I also used 3D modeling to create a wireframe of a person’s face and depict the process of how Face ID breaks down the user’s face into a mathematical model. Because I’m currently taking a course in virtual reality design, I already knew how to use Blender to create 3D objects. Of course, I still had to consult Google to figure out how to export just the wireframe of the mesh without any textures. After my image was finished rendering, I wanted to make it look futuristic by giving it a bright blue glow. While I like how the wireframe turned out, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the glow and ended up wanting more than Photoshop would give me.

I had a very clear idea in my head about how I wanted the graphic to look and I’d say that most of it translated well into illustrator. However, I do think that the graphic ended up a little text heavy in the section where it discusses how Face ID works. Trying to decide what’s important for the reader to know and what isn’t was probably one of the most difficult parts in creating this graphic, but when viewing the graphic in its entirety I think the section still works.

Lastly, after the graphic was completed I was kind of surprised to realize that my favorite section actually turned out to be the accompanying graphic at the bottom of the page where it depicts the major features and innovations found in previous iPhones. That wasn’t originally part of my vision, but I’m glad that I added it because I think it helps to complete the graphic by adding another layer to the exploration of flagship features in Apple’s smartphone line-up.

The Impact of the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes

Earthquakes Devastate the Kumamoto Region of Japan
Click on the image to view a high resolution pdf

Before I began drawing with the pen tool, I hadn’t contemplated how long tracing all of the islands that made up Japan would actually take. While starting the project, I was under the impression that our map project had to be a follow up of our previous chart project and I had already begun drawing my locator map to represent the Kumamoto region of Japan and was planning to discuss how the earthquakes in 2016 impacted the camera industry.

As I already knew, information on camera sales is scarce and is only tracked by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) so I decided to change the direction of my map to focus on the overall implications of the earthquakes after learning that we weren’t restricted to the subjects of our previous projects. However, finding data on the earthquakes was still very difficult and I came across many conflicting reports. For example, I wanted to create a bar chart that would compare the number of deaths and injuries caused by the main-shock and the fore-shock, but Wikipedia was the only source with this data and the sources it cited were unavailable. Even finding the exact number of deaths and injuries in total was difficult because almost every news outlet reported different numbers.

I decided to use only data that I could verify from multiple sources to make callouts and icons like the depth scale so that I could fill some of the empty space left by the water surrounding Japan. Since Kumamoto isn’t a place that very many people would be familiar with, I knew that I’d need to include an inset map to make my project complete. The inset map was a necessity that also served to help fill up some of the empty space. I also contemplated adding a compass but decided against it because the map was facing the natural direction of North and I also thought I would have trouble drawing some of the compasses I found in the time I had before deadline.

Overall, I’m pleased with my final map and thought that it turned out better than I expected. I began to panic after I kept finding conflicting and unreliable data but finding the United States Geographical Survey (USGS) data helped me sort through sources and find legit information. I still want to try a dark theme, but I know that I’d have to have my graphic professionally printed so that the dark colors would not become washed out. Perhaps for my next graphic I could find a topic that would relate well with a darker color scheme.

Shifts in the Camera Industry Over Time

Graphic displaying trends in the camera industry over time.
Click image to see full sized pdf version.

As a photographer, the idea of exploring the recent struggles of the camera industry was a topic that peaked my interest. The camera industry has seen recent hardship in our new digital world fueled by social media, mobile devices, and instant satisfaction. Large, dedicated cameras just can’t keep up with the versatility and mobility that consumers expect from technology in 2017. People want smaller, lighter, and intuitive devices and modern cameras seem to be the opposite.

Average consumers no longer have to learn how to use advanced camera settings and photo editing applications like Photoshop or Lightroom to get decent photos worthy of sharing on social media. The Improvements in high-end smartphone cameras with built-in Gaussian blur effects or “portrait modes” coupled with the versatility of having a smartphone that can do it all with a nearly limitless number of apps has spelled disaster for the camera industry in recent years. Point & shoot cameras have seen the greatest decrease in sales as their digital zoom works in a similar fashion to that found in a smartphone, but interchangeable lens cameras have also found themselves losing ground with Nikon causing panic amongst photographers after reporting extraordinary losses earlier in 2017.

The dominant chart in my package is a bar chart depicting the sale of cameras worldwide over a 20-year time span. With the inclusion of film cameras in the chart, we can see how digital cameras are now following a similar trend to their predecessors. A common discussion in photography is how Kodak died off due to their unwillingness to embrace the shift towards digital photography and now we are seeing a similar trend with DSLRs where companies like Canon and Nikon won’t innovate or embrace mirrorless systems. I chose a bar chart to represent this data because I liked how simply it distinguished the gradual decline of film in comparison to the growth of digital. Looking back, I think I could’ve maybe included a callout pinpointing the year that smartphones began to become common in society.

My second chart is a line chart showing the sale of digital cameras by type over the span of 5 years. While point & shoot cameras have always dominated digital camera sales due to their affordability, the line chart shows how far they’ve fallen within just five years. Even though point & shoot cameras aren’t known for producing quality images, Sony is pushing major innovation in the camera industry with super-zoom point & shoot cameras like the RX10 which utilizes elements of interchangeable lens cameras like a full frame sensor and high continuous frame rates.

Lastly, my third chart shows the share of interchangeable lens cameras in 2012 compared to 2016. Since I’m comparing pieces of a whole, I chose to represent this data as a pie chart. Until recently, DSLRs would’ve been the only real contender in this area but the introduction of full frame and medium format mirrorless cameras from Sony and Fujifilm has caused a disruption in this area. Mirrorless cameras host a variety of advantages over DSLRs such as the ability to operate in silence, an electronic viewfinder that allows you to preview exposure in real-time and shoot video without live view, the ability to use DSLR lenses from any brand, and more. Professional photographers and enthusiasts are moving towards mirrorless cameras and it was recently revealed that mirrorless cameras sold more than half of the total sales of DSLRs in the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, I really enjoyed completing my charts package and love how the final product turned out. While I knew the state of the camera industry wasn’t too great, seeing it put into visual form really showed me how bad the struggle actually was. Having the opportunity to have my chart critiqued during class before submitting my final project was really invaluable. I took notes and later changed many things such as converting units to millions, correcting font sizes, and the altering my headline. I also revised my color scheme to make it blend better and craft a better sense of unity between the different categories. I myself didn’t really like my original colors so hearing feedback from someone else really pushed me to rethink my color scheme. I chose a scheme based on blue because of its heavy association with technology which I believed to be fitting for this package. My font from the beginning has been Benton Sans. Since it is IU’s choice for communications, I believed it would also serve well in news publication. It’s modern, sleek, and IU provides multiple families for free which allows me more flexibility while designing.