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Apple Optic ID: use your eyes to unlock the Vision Pro

It makes sense that connecting to a cutting-edge mixed reality headset involves your eyeballs.

Designed to be largely hands-free without a traditional keyboard, touchscreen or mouse, Apple’s highly anticipated Vision Pro headset is secured by a new authentication system called Optic ID, which uses iris scans to authenticate users. .

Speaking during Apple’s WWDC 2023 keynote on Monday, company officials said this type of data is always unique, even when it comes to identical twins. Just as with Apple’s other biometric identification methods, such as the Face ID used on the most recent iPhones, and the Touch ID that preceded it, Optic ID data is encrypted, stored in the enclave device and never leave it.

In addition to unlocking the headset, the authentication system will also be used with other sensitive and finance-related features like Apple Pay, App Store purchases and password autofill, Apple said.

During its presentation on Monday, Apple revealed few details about the specific operation of the system, making it difficult for outside observers to gauge exactly how secure it might be. An Apple spokesperson did not immediately return an email requesting additional information.

Using iris scans as a form of authentication is nothing new. For example, they are used at airports across the country as part of the clear system. But attempts to integrate iris scanners into consumer technology have not always been successful. In 2017, the iris scanner included in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 phone was hacked by cybersecurity researchers, who managed to trick it with a photo of a legitimate user’s eye and a contact lens.

Also at Monday’s event, Apple said the mixed reality headset’s other security and privacy features include a design that keeps what a user is watching private, noting that what a person chooses to watch has the potential to reveal what it is. think.

Apple said the data is isolated in a separate background process, so apps and websites can’t see what a user is looking at. It is only when a user taps or enters a response on another Apple device that data is communicated and processed at the system level.

The Vision Pro is expected to go on sale next year for $3,499.


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