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Apple imagines a world where you unlock everything with your face

Commentary: In a new iPhone X ad, Cupertino shows what would happen if your face unlocked more than your phone. It would be complete chaos, of course.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives    


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With just one look, you have magical powers.

Apple/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Apple has given you magical powers... if you bought an iPhone X, that is.

All you have to do is look at anything with a lock and, presto, it opens.

What? You haven't noticed? Well, Apple's just released an ad to explain how it's done.

Here we have a young woman who discovers the superpower at school. She can suddenly open lockers, desks and cabinets full of colorful paint.

Huge garage-style doors are no match for her stare. It's open sesame wherever she goes.

This is all quite enjoyable, especially when frogs leap out of locked laboratory jars.

Yes, of course the end result of this magical power is chaos. That's how it is with magical powers. Haven't you watched any movies?

There's a cleverness in this ad's strategy.

When it was launched, many worried that Face ID jeopardized their personal security. Some claimed that others' faces could unlock their phones

That clamor has abated. 

So this ad dramatizes and normalizes one of the X's more innovative features. When you can get to the point that a controversial feature can seem like a lot of fun, you've won. 

Of course, amateur logicians will point out that if this woman can open everything with her face, then so can every other iPhone X owner. Which means they can unlock her iPhone X. 

Oh, but logicians aren't magicians, are they?

Some iPhone X owners have told me that Face ID doesn't always work, but it doesn't really bother them. They just enter a passcode, as with some previous iPhones. 

Now, however, they realize they're staring at it wrong. If they get it just right -- a look at "Zoolander" might help" -- a whole new world of possibilities will open up for them.

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