One of the most popular negatives that people like to throw at the iPad is its single-user experience. There is basically no ability for a family to easily use an iPad. No user accounts, and thus no account switching.

Perhaps Apple planned for each member of a family to own their own iPad, but as we all know, that just isn’t feasible with a $500 tablet, especially in these poor economic times.

The latest patent application to find its way out of the people at PatentlyApple shows that Apple is well aware of the way people want to use their iPads, and that we want to be able to hand the device to another person and have them be able to use it as their own. No sharing apps, no logging in and out of things constantly. This being Apple, they want to do it a little differently.

The patent allows for face detection to be used in order for the device to be reconfigured, based on the user that is detected. Wallpapers, icons, and settings could all be changed depending on the user that has been detected using the iPad’s built-in front-facing camera.

Using facial recognition for changing settings is one thing, but we are not sure we would want it to be used as any kind of security feature. As has been seen with the implementation built into Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich build of Android, fooling facial recognition is not the hardest thing in the world. Just using a well taken photo can often be enough to gain access to a device, and that doesn’t fill us with secure thoughts!

Still, we would love multiple account support in our iPads, whether that involve facial recognition, or not.

What say you?

  • Shannon Wiggins

    And…what if someone has an identical twin?

    • Unlikely

      • Shannon Wiggins

        Unlikely? I know plenty of identical twins.

      • Identical Twins are never TRUELY identical. There is always something a little different about their facial structure. The naked eye often see faces as a whole where as facial recognition see faces as a mathematical equation of sorts. BAM! Hows that for technical.

      • Anonymous

        BAM, the facial is as mathematical as showing a picture of urself BAM unlocked… … Unless theres real detection like heat, 3d/deph, hd camera i find this useless

  • Jon Garrett

    another patent on already existing technology. wow.

    • The devil’s in the details. I doubt Apple can get a patent on it, but for switching profiles on a mobile device, maybe.

    • Actually Google acquired the patent for Facial Recognition unlocking.

  • Personaly I like the idea, but have no use for it. I like how they aren’t trying to use facerecog as a failed security gimmick to sell a phone.

  • You guys have stopped paying credit to the blog who actually supplied the matter you are writing on! You used to mention them at the end and there is no link to Patently Apple at the end with a “via” or “source” caption!

  • what if you got a scratch in your face or something??

  • a patent for that? already seen it in Android 4.0 (ICS)… so why in the world is apple patenting stuff that is already there?