Apple Patent Reveals Multi-User Face Recognition Plans for iPad

Posted on December 29, 2011 by

Before the first iPad was announced, the Wall Street Journal reported on a facial recognition feature that Apple had been working on for their upcoming tablet.

One person familiar with the matter said Apple has put significant resources into designing and programming the device so that it is intuitive to share. This person said Apple has experimented with the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the device and for the gadget to automatically recognize individuals via a built-in camera. It is unclear whether these features will be included at launch.

One of the goals was to make the iPad a multi-user device. This feature never made it into the iPad, but a newly published patent application gives us proof that Apple was at least thinking about it. The patent was filed in June, 2010, soon after the iPad was released.

AppleInsider describes how the patent applications offers a way for multiple users to share a device:

The filing provides a simple way for multiple users to share a single device, like an iPad. Each user could customize their personal profile with unique wallpaper, applications and settings, and that profile would be immediately accessed once the iPad recognizes a user’s face.

Sources: Patently Apple and AppleInsider

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