A new patent from Apple mentions a system similar to Face ID working on a Mac , reports 9to5Mac . The patent describes how a camera on a Mac could be used to identify a person and automatically wake the computer up for them if it is in sleep mode. The use of this camera specifically mentions if the device is in Power Nap mode. This same patent seems to suggest that Magic Keyboards may be getting the Touch Bar.
The patent application spotted today by Patently Apple is actually for Face ID using a retina scan rather than a 3D map of the face. This is a type of technology used in some high-end security system.The patent describes how Macs in sleep mode could use their camera to look for faces. This would presumably be a feature added to Power Nap, where a sleeping Mac is still able to carry out certain background activities without using much power.
If your Mac spots a face, it then uses facial recognition to wake the Mac if the user is identified.Essentially, the Mac can remain in sleep mode while doing the easy bit – just figuring out whether or not any face is in view – and then enter a higher powered mode to run the facial recognition part before fully waking the machine.
This may be a genuine interest on the part of Apple to switch to a new technology for Face ID, or it may simply be the company covering all the bases – as it usually does in patent applications.
Notably, Apple patents a lot of applications regarding different features and ideas about new gadgets but not all of them remain to see the light of the day. 9to5ac notes that there are two reasons that suggest that Apple will not be releasing Touch Bar included Magic Keyboard: First, an always-on OLED display in a wireless keyboard would require a lot of power and would reduce the battery life. Secondly, the website notes that the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick.