The iPhone X Cant Have My Memoji Face

first_imgStay on target At WWDC 2018 Apple revealed iOS 12 to its trusted developers and the rest of the world. And it sounds pretty promising. Instead of wowing us with gimmicky new features, iOS 12 is meant to improve overall performance of the operating system on a variety of devices. The new features are more expected and welcome than mind-blowing. There’s better photo organization, Siri shortcuts, stats for app usage, upgraded augmented reality, and 32-person rooms for FaceTime.But the most striking new iOS 12 feature is Memoji. Building on last year’s Animoji animated animal emoji, Memoji lets you create a cartoon avatar of your own face you can then animate using the iPhone X’s advanced face-tracking. I’m sure there’s a lot of cute and ironic fun to be had here, but Apple Memoji is asking me to give it a digital version of my face, and as I’ve said before, the iPhone X can’t have my face.Haunted by the ghost of the company’s founder in a theater named after him, Apple revealed not only the marginally improved iPhone 8 and 8 Plus but also the brand new iPhone X, the tech giant’s vision for what a true next-generation iPhone looks like one decade later. I don’t want one.No, it’s not just because the iPhone X costs $1,000, although that wealth would be put to better use redistributed to the poor. No, it’s not just because it doesn’t have a headphone jack, although that’s still unacceptable. And it’s not just because Apple pulled a Windows and skipped from 8 to 10. If anything that’s the coolest thing about the smartphone.The biggest reason I’m immediately turned off by the iPhone X is the feature that, aside from the bezel-free screen, Apple spent the most time boasting about: FaceID facial recognition technology. I’ve enjoyed plenty of Apple products, including my current properly sized iPhone SE. I’ve given a lot to my iPhone including my money, my time, and responsibility for my relationships. But no, Apple, the iPhone X can’t have my face.Granted, the tech behind FaceID is certainly impressive. As suggested by rumors we’ve previously reported, the upgraded front-facing cameras on iPhone X create and store a 3D map of your facial geometry. Despite some on-stage blunders, Apple promises the camera works accurately in a variety of lighting conditions and isn’t stumped by things like hats and scarves and the natural physical ravages of age. With your face data, you can then securely perform a variety of actions like making a payment or unlocking your phone just by staring into its abyss.I don’t ever want to do that. As a tech journalist, I spend a lot of time worrying about my own dependence on technology. So one of the hard lines I draw is refusing to let technology on me or in me. It’s why I’m not a huge fan of wearables like the new Apple Watch also revealed at this press conference. I don’t want to quantify my own body. It weirds me out.However, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the appeal of other, non-face related ways in which Apple products turn your physical being into hard data. If the commercial shown at the press conference was any clue, lots of folks are benefiting from the Apple Watch’s health-tracking features. Meanwhile, despite my fingerprint paranoia, TouchID (now removed along with the physical home button in favor of FaceID) was a really secure way for you and only you to unlock your device.But even for folks who don’t mind handing over their mugs, is FaceID a truly better option? Apple claims FaceID is exponentially more secure for anyone without an identical twin, able to withstand tricks like face pictures and detailed masks. But will that just make it tougher for legitimate users? And what about different skin tones or people who sustained serious facial injuries? What if I’m wearing an antifa mask? I bet some organizations would love to crack those hidden identities. I can’t think of anything more dystopian than a fight over the right to privacy over a person’s actual unique face. But at least it’s more empathetic than Anomolisa.And if FaceID does work perfectly, that might honestly be the creepier scenario. Along with the security functionality, Apple spent a long time dragging us to Hell with another use of face data called Animoji. Clearly developed during a time when people thought The Emoji Movie would be a big deal, Animoji analyses your face muscles and uses your expressions to puppeteer some 3D versions of classic emojis like the chicken and the poop. Eat your motion-captured chimp heart out, Andy Serkis. Now you can send your friends annoying voice messages spoken through an animated cartoon fox head like a cyber furry or something out of The Futurological Congress. Nope!I don’t mean to sound like a Luddite. I love technology. At the show Apple also demonstrated its advanced smartphone augmented reality ARKit tools, which are a slightly less invasive and much more entertaining way of harvesting real-world visual data around you for virtual fun. And I thought it was just as cool here as it was back on the Nintendo 3DS or HoloLens.But scanning a room for AR isn’t the same as scanning my face for data mining. It’s hard to think of anything more personal to me and my sense of self than literally my specific recognizable handsome Black face. And in the wake of things like the Equifax breach, I just don’t want increasingly granular details of my face available to huge interconnected companies. They already have enough.If you buy one 4K-capable X-branded super-computer this fall, save your face, skip the iPhone X and honestly get an Xbox One X for half the price instead. Or pick up a copy of XXX for your ex. With tech like this, the iPhone X makes me want to take my Face/Off.Buy iPhone XVerizonT-MobileAT&TSprintLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Have More Cameras, More ProblemsApple Arcade Launches Next Week last_img read more