KEY POINTS

  • Code found in the latest macOS Big Sur beta suggests that the next Apple MacBooks and iMacs may come with Face ID and facial recognition technology
  • The code contained references to Apple’s codename for the TrueDepth camera and mentions of "FaceDetect" and "BioCapture"
  • iOS app integration on MacBooks could make life easier for users who usually need to navigate between devices

The latest macOS Big Sur update is out, and eagle-eyed folks have come across something interesting. It appears code found in the beta hinted that an advanced camera with features consumers are now enjoying in their iPhones or iPads would be present in the next MacBooks and desktops.

The latest builds of the macOS Big Sur contained references to Apple’s codename for the TrueDepth camera and mentions of "FaceDetect," "BioCapture" and "PealCamera," 9 to 5 Mac reported. These have sparked speculations of MacBooks or iMacs becoming Face ID-capable and the coming of facial recognition technology.

The Verge suggested that the introduction of facial recognition technology to Macs could give owners a new way to unlock their device. This may also be applied to augmented reality apps that map the face and could be used while browsing the upcoming version of Safari, which will reportedly allow users to log in using Touch ID or Face ID to websites that support the feature.

Last year, an Apple patent called the "Light Recognition Module for Determining a User of a Computing Device" was filed and may have been an early indication that an added biometric security option will arrive with the next batch of Apple computers. And for those who may not be aware, there are new MacBooks and desktop machines scheduled to come out later this year.

For now, these are only speculations. Until confirmation is given regarding what to expect from the next MacBooks or iMacs, it would be best to take these with a grain of salt for now. The possibilities are endless.

It cannot be discounted that Apple already has some biometric features involved, particularly in its MacBook line. The in-display Touch-ID patents and fingerprint scanning are already present in the latest models so expanding them is most welcome.

For those unaware, the next batch of MacBooks and desktops will have their processors inside. This means that the upcoming machines will be able to run iOS apps on macOS. This is a welcome development, especially for people who have been having problems doing so. Beyond that, it also opens up a lot of other possibilities.

With the COVID-19 forcing most to rely heavily on computers, the new features would be a welcome one for users trying to adapt to the new normal. Folks no longer have to switch between their phones and their MacBooks (or vice versa).

With apps usable on both platforms, users can be more productive and experience lesser stress from whatever things they may be doing. These include possibly using Snapchat on a computer with an advanced camera or making 3D scans of any object for either business or personal use.

13-inch MacBook Pro 13-inch MacBook Pro Photo: Apple