Apple's FaceID Failed On Its First Demonstration Because The Feature Was Not Installed

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Apple's FaceID Failed On Its First Demonstration Because The Feature Was Not Installed

Apple launches are notoriously stage-managed affairs, with every care taken to make sure that absolutely nothing goes wrong.

That's why it was so surprising that Wednesday's new Apple X launch suffered a minor glitch in proceedings.

One of the major selling points of the new Apple X is its face recognition technology, the ability to open the lock with just a face rather than a passcode or a fingerprint.

Pity then, that when Apple software head Craig Federighi's demo didn't exactly go as planned.


Credit: Apple

"Unlocking it is as easy as looking at it and swiping up," said Federighi, only to find that the device didn't unlock at all.

"Ho ho ho! Let's go to backup here!" he said as he seamlessly picked up a second phone and had another go.


The second one worked and face was saved.

"People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time," according to an Apple worker, "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."

Apple launches are some of the biggest events in tech, so it behoves them to have everything work at the first opportunity.

The media response to the tech fail was brutal. "Apple suffers embarrassing demo Face ID fail at iPhone X launch," read the headline in the UK's Telegraph, while "Apple's Face ID unlocking failed during its big demo," read Business Insider. VICE went even further, noting that "Apple's stock suddenly dropped after that Face ID fail".


The worst thing was that, despite the massive coverage, it wasn't actually a problem with the technology.

Credit: PA

The screen read "Your passcode is required to enable Face ID," meaning that rather than the advertised feature failing to work, it was that the device that Federighi picked up had not had the correct feature installed on it.


There is a level of genius in the phone, which maps your face with dots and then uses infrared photography to identify the owner and allow them to access the phone. As technological advancements in phone technology go, it's something of a quantum leap forwards.

If it's turned on of course. Better check that before you stand in front of the world and demonstrate it.

Words by Mike Wood

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: iPhone x, Apple

Mark McGowan
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