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.