How people and the world adapt to technology is often discussed, with the effects of technology often a divisive topic. However, technology and the world around us are not a one-way street. The world is certainly affected by the technology that is always advancing and developing, but how is that technology affected by the world it is being created into?

Everyone is aware of the countless long-term or even permanent shifts that the world has taken in recent times, especially within the past year alone. One of these shifts, specifically, is of course, masks. In a world where masks are required when in public in a majority of places, the technology companies and devices are having to adjust to that and strive towards convenience in that world. Most devices these days have facial recognition, adding more security due to only one with your face can open your technological devices. However, with masks now covering half of our faces in day to day life, this feature has become more difficult and frustrating than anything. So how is the technology adapting to this and creating a more convenient world once again?

Different companies have had different approaches to this, to varying levels of convenience, ease, and security. For instance, Apple has shifted its facial recognition to not require the whole face any longer. “At present, trying to use the Face ID feature with part of the face covered triggers a screen asking users to type in their passcode, which many find frustrating.
The iOS 14.5 upgrade should solve that. But users also need to be wearing one of Apple’s more recent smartwatches. A Watch Series 3 or later, which the user must have earlier unlocked, is required, to provide an extra level of security to make up for the fact the facial scan is less detailed.” This updated feature, while making life more convenient for those with accompanying Apple watches, does nothing for those that don’t have Apple watches. The security concern is, of course, important, but this “fix” only applies to a specific part of the customer base, and therefore does not completely fix the issue.

However, Apple’s main competitor, Android, has even less of a fix for this issue. They currently do not have an official remedy to the facial recognition issue, with their last attempt going poorly. “In 2017, Samsung launched an iris scanner, which featured in its Galaxy S8 and S9 series. But the first version it released was successfully fooled by German hackers using a printer and a contact lens. At the time, Samsung said it would take ‘a rare combination of circumstances’ for that to be effective. But it has now dropped the feature.”

Advancement and adaptation always take time, however, and these different attempts at fixing an inconvenience of our new “normal” are just the start of how technology will continue to shift in response to the world. As things develop, technology will continue to shift and strive towards making our lives that much more convenient and efficient.


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