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Face ID: the iPhone X replaces Touch ID with a facial recognition system

Apple has unveiled a suite of new iPhones in a presentation that delivered few surprises to diehard fans.

Just as the leaks predicted, the Californian firm revealed three new smartphones at a ceremony last night, including an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and a premium iPhone X at the new Steve Jobs Theater.

The standout feature of the flagship device, which will retail from £999, is a vast new OLED display that reaches to the curved corners of the phone’s frame. It does away with the Homescreen button, eliminating Touch ID in the process. In its place stands a new facial recognition system that promises greater security.

Apple claims that there is a one in a million chance of a random person’s face unlocking the phone, compared to a one in 50,000 chance of a false match with Touch ID.

In an embarrassing onstage blunder, the system failed when it was first demonstrated. But as the Verge’s Chris Welch notes, it was unlikely to have been Face ID’s fault.

Apple says it has tested the system, which can be incorporated into Apple Pay, on disconcertingly accurate recreations of human faces created by Hollywood.

It is powered by the phone’s new A11 bionic neural engine and neural networks that have been trained on millions of images.

To unlock the phone, you simply need to look at the screen. Apple says it’s unphased by changing hairstyles, glasses or a lack of light, using 30,000 infra-red dots to identify a user.

Apple SVP Phil Schiller described the technology as a “big step forward in the iPhone user experience”.

Pre-orders start on 27 October, with shipping beginning on 3 November.