iPhone X Face ID 'Twin Tests' Emerge With Mixed Results

by

Now that the media has had hands-on time with the iPhone X, the new smartphone is being put through its paces in a few areas, including Face ID. Since the iPhone X's new biometric security system has already been at the forefront of much debate and skepticism, most review and hands-on coverage has tried to fool Face ID, including Mashable and Business Insider running a "twin test" to see if one iPhone X unlocks for identical twins.

business insider iphone x twins


Mashable ran its test by asking two different sets of identical twins to try to unlock the iPhone X, first by having one twin register their face in Face ID and confirm it unlocks for them. Then, the second twin held up the iPhone X to their face -- not registered in the device -- to see if they could get into their sibling's iPhone. In both instances of Mashable's twin test, the iPhone X successfully unlocked using the face of the non-registered twin, fooling Face ID completely.

With both sets of twins, the other twin unlocked the iPhone X, even though neither one had registered his face with Face ID on the iPhone X. With the Franklin twins, we had both brothers remove their glasses and had the other brother register. Again, Face ID failed to tell the difference.

Look, Apple never claimed Face ID was perfect and, in my tests, it could not be fooled by photos or videos of my registered face. Still, these results do not bode well for all the identical twins out there, to say nothing of triplets and quintuplets.

Interestingly, Business Insider's results contrasted directly with Mashable. In its test, Business Insider first had one twin register his face and then simply try to fool Face ID by wearing a hat, glasses, and a scarf, and Apple's security system unlocked every time. Then, his identical twin brother raised the iPhone X in front of his face, but the device repeatedly failed to open and was apparently able to distinguish between the two brothers.

I was pretty shocked that the iPhone X could really pick apart the details between me and my brother considering some of our own family members can’t tell us apart. So, yeah, it was a pleasant surprise knowing that Brian can't break into my iPhone X and I can’t break into my brother's.

It's worth noting that Apple itself admitted that Face ID may not be able to distinguish between identical twins during the iPhone X unveiling on September 12. Phil Schiller said at the time: "The chance that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it with their face is about one in one million. Of course, the statistics are lowered if that person shares a close genetic relationship with you. So, for example, if you happen to have an evil twin, you really need to protect your sensitive data with a passcode."

Face ID also runs using the smartphone's A11 Bionic chip with a built-in neural engine and Apple has said that it will get smarter over time, so in the future more sets of twins might discover that Face ID more accurately tells them apart from their siblings.

Tag: Face ID

Top Rated Comments

H.E. Pennypacker Avatar
40 months ago
I can’t even tell the difference between my wife’s identical and her. Who even knows, I might have slept with them both.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
40 months ago
Great, now Tom Cruise will be able to unlock my iPhone X.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ACST Avatar
40 months ago

Look, Apple never claimed Face ID was perfect and, in my tests, it could not be fooled by photos or videos of my registered face. Still, these results do not bode well for all the identical twins out there, to say nothing of triplets and quintuplets.

They specifically said in the keynote that FaceID could be unlocked by your evil twin, so this really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
40 months ago
Good thing most of us don't have a twin.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacFinnley Avatar
40 months ago
WHO the **** cares? Your twin is your brother/sister, not a stranger.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ACST Avatar
40 months ago

But...
But........

The Scramble to make excuses begins ;)

What excuses, Apple specifically said during the keynote that FaceID isn't for you if you have a twin. They specifically mentioned it.

What's next, a TouchID test with someone who has no fingers?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals [Updated]

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Black Friday is underway, and we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the current-generation 10.2-inch iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. We'll be keeping this post updated as new deals appear and current ones expire, so be sure to keep checking back for the latest. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple's Global Security Chief Indicted in Scheme to Trade iPads for Gun Permits, but Apple Says It's Found No Wrongdoing

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:41 am PST by
Earlier this week, Apple's Chief Security Offier Thomas Moyer and others were charged in an expanding investigation involving the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office over exchanging bribes for concealed gun permits, reported the Morgan Hill Times. According to the investigation, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung held back four concealed carry weapons permits for Apple's security team ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...