3D Printed Head Bypasses Android Face Recognition But Can't Fool iPhone X

When Apple first rolled out its Face ID security tech to eliminate the need for a fingerprint scanner, there were some initial security concerns. It turned out that early on Face ID could be bypassed with a cheaply made 3D printed mask. Now, a new report has tried something similar to bypass Android facial recognition using a 3D printed head and attempted the same trick to circumvent iPhone X Face ID security.

3d face

The 3D printed head was made in the UK at a business called Backface using an array of 50 cameras that combine images to create a single 3D image. That single 3D image was then fed into a 3D printer where something looking like a marble bust was produced over a span of a few days. The final cost of the 3D printed head was £300, or about $378.

Once the 3D head was completed, the bust was used to attempt unlocking four new Android devices that use facial recognition and the iPhone X. The Android devices were all defeated using the 3D printed head, but the iPhone X was said to be "impenetrable." The Android devices bypassed include the LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and OnePlus 6.

The test proves that on these four devices, the Android implementation for facial recognition isn't as secure as Face ID. One primary reason that the iPhone's facial recognition is more secure than Android's implementation has to do with Apple's IR Depth mapping and attention awareness technology. The latter is thought to be the reason that the 3D printed head was unable to bypass Apple's security. The 3D printed masks that bypassed Apple's Face ID security before had more realistic looking eyes perhaps accounting for why it was able to unlock the iPhone.