With the release of the iPhone X, Apple captivated the attention of the smartphone market. While the release of a new iPhone is always met with a huge amount of hype, the X innovated in a way different than anything we’ve ever seen. The iPhone X Face ID technology allows the phone to adjust dynamically to changes in the user’s appearance – such as the growth of facial hair or a new pair of glasses. This upgraded technology is a massive improvement over current face recognition technology, and has greatly improved the security and convenience of Apple’s phones. It appears the Face ID technology can be used in different applications, however, as a Japanese app developer has discovered a way to camouflage a user’s face using an iPhone X invisible mask.
The applications of an iPhone X invisible mask are dubious, but it’s certainly a fun feature that takes advantage of a new technology to do something novel. Japanese developer Kazuya Noshiro is the mind behind the iPhone X invisible mask, and the app camouflages a user’s face with their current background.
The brief ten-second video, included below, shows Noshiro moving his head around to reveal the environment around him through his head. The effect is creepy and fun, and it’s a unique take on the iPhone X Face ID. According to tweets by Noshiro, the app was made using the game development engine Unity, and uses a fixed camera position to shoot the background and create the iPhone X invisible mask illusion.
— のしぷ@パペ文字 (@noshipu) December 27, 2017
As of now, there’s not really any word on what the iPhone X invisible mask will be used for, but at this current time, it seems as if it will serve the same novel effect as every other piece of augmented reality.
While a dream of a world where technology overlays information into our environment in our day to day lives is still a long ways out, there have been significant strides towards making augmented reality more accessible. This iPhone X invisible mask is obviously a far cry from the work being done by the likes of Google and Microsoft, but it’s clear that the Face ID technology has the chops to accomplish a similar – albeit less impressive – form of augmented reality.
Staying Ahead of the Pack
The iPhone X technology is resulting in some serious sales for Apple, but will this success continue into subsequent generations? It’s unrealistic to expect a company to make leaps and bounds with every release, considering the trend of yearly launches for the majority of luxury flagship manufacturers. The jump from iPhone 6 to iPhone 7 was largely iterative, with a fancy new home button being the primary attraction that Apple hoped would warrant an upgrade. Even the jump from the iPhone 7 to phones like the iPhone 8 wasn’t substantial enough to really impress consumers.
There’s no doubt that the iPhone X is the premier device, but can Apple provide something good enough with the next round of phones to keep their momentum going? We’re not so sure.
There are already preliminary reports that next year’s phones will release with another batch of three devices – all featuring Face ID technology. It seems that Apple’s plan is to make the technology standard in all of their subsequent releases, but by that point, Face ID will be old news. While competitors like Samsung currently don’t seem to have plans to implement a similar technology in upcoming phones, they’ve n doubt recognized the success of Apple and will seek to emulate it – perhaps in the generation following the impending release of the next round of phones.
If Apple wishes to stay ahead of the pack, they’ll need to continue to build upon the success of the iPhone X. Whether that’s the implementation of a beefed-up form of augmented reality we’ve seen in the iPhone X invisible mask or something entirely new remains to be seen, but Apple has seen what a massive payoff innovation can have. We’ll likely have to wait until next fall to see what the iPhone 11 has to offer a market that is increasingly fickle.
If developers like Kazuya Noshiro can provide a novel experience with the iPhone X invisible mask, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that a company with the resources of Apple can continue to provide something extraordinary.