Monday, April 16, 2018

ABI Research: Face Recognition is 5x Easier to Spoof than Fingerprint One

ABI Research: “Face recognition on smartphones is five times easier to spoof than fingerprint recognition,” stated ABI Research Industry Analyst Dimitrios Pavlakis. “Despite the decision to forgo its trademark sapphire sensor in the iPhone X in favor of face recognition (FaceID,) Apple may be now forced to return to fingerprints in the next iPhone,” added Pavlakis.

ABI also comments on Synaptics under-display fingerprint sensor in Vivo X20+ smartphone:

Vivo may have been cautious to fully commit to the new technology and left room to fall back to a traditional sensor below the display,” said Jim Mielke, ABI Research’s VP of the Teardowns service. “The performance of this first implementation does warrant some caution as the sensor seemed less responsive and required increased pressure to unlock the phone.


  1. Can someone explain what 5x easier means? This implies that there's some quantifiable unit of easiness.

    This sounds like a made up number to generate a snappy headline to me.

    Unless they measured the calories expended by the hacker (versus resting) in each case, and fingerprints burned 5x more energy, I suppose! Hmm, not very likely.

  2. I'd guess that "5x easier" probably means that in testing, the success rate of spoofing was 5x higher for face ID vs fingerprints.

    1. More likely, the failure rate is 5X smaller; say, 1% versus 0.2%.

  3. As the smartphone market get stratified there is more room for different approaches. Under display fingerprint will have its say, even standard fingerprint for lower end handsets. The cost of 3D face recognition is actually the real deterrent, not performance. “Face recognition on smartphones is five times easier to spoof than fingerprint recognition,” this is probably true for 2D face recognition, but not 3D, therefore we are nowhere near a"return to fingerprints in the next iPhone”. Pierre Cambou - Yole

  4. Is this an honest report? It does not say what smartphone it used for face recognition testing. If it is vivo x20+, is it assuming that face recognition technology on iPhone X is the same thing?


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