People don't get Apple's Face ID, says Conan

Commentary: In this take, we're back at the Apple event and real people are asking questions about the new way to unlock the iPhone X.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

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


He wants to know whether the Apple executive remembers "Face Off."

Team Coco/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Apple's executives stand on stage and make everything seem so simple. 

At least they think they do.

Conan O'Brien isn't so sure too many people understand Face ID on the new iPhone X. 

Should you have turned yourself into a hologram over the last 48 hours, you may not know that with Apple's so-called "Smartphone of the Future" -- revealed on Tuesday -- you unlock your iPhone X by looking at it thanks to a system called Face ID.

In Conan's reconstruction of the Apple event, real, (apparently) normal consumers ask an Apple executive -- who looks painfully akin to Apple's senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi -- some simple questions.

Can you scream at the phone in order to unlock it? Federighi Lite doesn't really know.

Inevitably, another real, (apparently) normal consumer asks whether Face ID works if he poses with his back end to camera. 

And then it all goes a little awry. As if it hasn't already. Someone wants to know if the Apple executive has seen the 1997 movie "Face/Off," in which facial transplant surgery plays something of a role.

Of course, it may be that Face ID works a little better than it actually did for Federighi at the event. He ended up having to use what looked like a backup phone.

Another random consumer asks Federighi Lite if Face ID works with more than one face. He has a good reason for this. Federighi Lite doesn't think it's such a good reason.

Just as he feels exasperation with real, (apparently) normal people's questions, I wonder how many iPhone X customers will have problems actually unlocking their phones. 

I fancy we'll witness more than one human being screaming at their iPhone X and bemoaning the fact that screaming just doesn't help.