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Available Expert - Queen's experts break down iPhone launch and widely-rumoured facial recognition feature

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Queen’s University experts Neil Bearse and David Murakami Wood are available to comment on widely-rumoured facial recognition technology that will likely be announced today as a feature on Apple’s tenth anniversary iPhone.

“Apple has aligned their brand around two major themes: exceptional user experience and a commitment to security in the age of big data. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is an example of both – a feature that secures the increasingly critical data stored on our phones – payment information, health records, and thousands of photo memories, yet unlocks so quickly and reliably that many of us forget that it is even there,” says Mr. Bearse, a marketing expert from the Queen’s Smith School of Business.

“A shift to facial recognition must outperform in both categories: higher security and more delightful to use – anything less is a step backwards.”

Surveillance expert Dr. Murakami Wood, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies, also wonders how Apple will implement facial recognition technology.

“It will be very interesting to see how Apple will use facial recognition technology if it debuts on the new iPhone models today,” says Dr. Murakami Wood. “Two areas I am particularly curious about are how and when a user’s facial expressions will be captured, and whether or not it will create a database of ‘micro-expressions’ in order to go as far as recognizing a user’s emotions.”

Apple’s event begins today at 1 p.m. EST.

Note: Dr. Murakami Wood is available by VOIP/Skype from 4 p.m. EST, onward.


To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Dave Rideout (613-533-6000 ext. 79648, 613.453.5676, or dave.rideout@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613.533.2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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