How Apple Dot Projector Work

What Is Apple Dot Projector And How Does It Work?

How Apple Dot Projector Work – The new Apple iPhones are creating a rage in the market. As the iPhone X launched in the market, there is no turning back for Apple. All the hype is about the latest features Apple has introduced in iPhone X and the other variants. One of them is the new Face ID feature of Apple.

Apple Dot Projector

With the launch of the new iPhone, there is a lot of frenzy in the market. This rage is more because of the Face ID authentication by Apple. It is a new standard that Apple has set for its competitors. The Face ID technology is mainly based on the old Touch ID technology, but now it is advanced with the TrueDepth camera system. This is used for unlocking the iPhone. So, now you can unlock your phone with Face ID recognition.

This TrueDepth camera system has spiced up the iPhone X and consists of various sensors, a regular camera, a dot projector, an infrared camera. All these work together to develop a 3D map of your face in just a second.

Talking about the Dot projector used, using the LEDs of high intensity is developed. These LEDs throw a light pattern which is dotted of 173 x 173, on your face. In other words, this dot projector can be defined as the light source which is structured and has 1 or 2 components of flash. This lets a predetermined pattern of the light project on your face so that the face can be recognized and lets the phone recognize your face structure in just some milliseconds.

How is the Apple Dot Projector different?

There are these power-consuming laser beams, and then there is this dot projector of Apple. Both are very different from each other. Usually, laser beams are used for 3D imagery. Still, Apple uses the Dot projector, which utilizes less power amount and gives a more enhanced 3D depth than the laser beams that are traditionally used.

Everyone has a distinctive facial structure that does not match the facial structure of anyone else. This makes it easier for Apple’s dot projector to develop a 3D map for your facial structure exclusively.

However, this 3D map of your facial structure is not uploaded on the iCloud and stays only on your phone. This is because there may be chances of a breach of security.  Apple’s Dot projector is very effective and safe, which is why it makes iPhone X a hit.

How does the Dot projector work?

Once you know what the dot projector is, you would want to know how it works. A 3D image is created by the Face ID, for which the dot projector throws thirty thousand dots on your face in just some milliseconds. A map of your face is built and created through these thirty thousand light dots. Later the dotted structure on your face is read by the infrared camera. A mathematical model of your face is created by the TrueDepth system using light dots, a neural engine, and photos.

If you are curious to know what a neural engine is, then it is a customized chip to identify objects, people, and data scrutinization, which is its main function.

This whole process is a dynamic system

This whole process is a dynamic system and not just a process that takes place only once. It continues to take place to identify your facial structure even when you are wearing glasses, have a grown beard, or have changed your hairstyle.

When the face recognition process occurs, the dot projector requires you to keep your eyes wide open. This is for your own security that no one can use your face to unlock your phone when you are sleeping.

Once your 3D face map is created, the Apple 11 Bionic Chipset analyzes the 3D face map. This is then tallied with the stored data present in the Secure Enclave of your phone.

Benefits of Dot projectors used for 3D Maps

Talking about dot projectors for facial recognition, you might be curious to find out how it can benefit us. The two biggest benefits that dot projectors provide by letting people use 3D facial recognition to sign in are convenience and security.

When it comes to security, Apple tries its best to breach security when you are using their devices. As compared to other unlocking methods, Face ID recognition using the dot projector has very few chances of a security breach. This means that there is a one in a million chance of somebody else using your phone to unlock face ID recognition. On the other hand, there are more chances of someone else unlocking your phone with a Touch ID. The chances are one in a 50,000.

Talking about convenience, obviously, it is more convenient to look at the screen of your phone than to use your fingerprint to unlock the device. Isn’t that true?

These two major advantages are why other mobile manufacturing companies are trying their best to incorporate similar technology in their devices. Even law enforcement industries and other non-technical industries are impressed with Apple’s new Face ID recognition and look forward to incorporating it into their security measures.

However, some gaming devices and laptops from Microsoft and other manufacturing companies also have some similar technology but not the same.

What is Apple’s dot projection based on?

Where did Apple get the idea of a dot projector? This is one good question you can ask yourself. The idea of the dot projection by Apple is based on a company’s developed technology. The name of this company was PrimeSense. Apple bought this technology from PrimeSense in the year 2013. The initial and well-publicized application that was made using this technology was for another company and not for Apple.

The Kinect device introduced by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 in the year 2010 used a technology that lets you control the games with your body’s motions.


This worked using an infrared emitter that would let a normal grid of dots in the room. The device also contained an infrared camera to see how the room’s 3D space warps the dotted pattern. The software would accurately determine the space’s 3D model using the intensity, dot size, and deformations present in the 2D image that the camera has picked. This would include even the people who are present in that space. This is done by using the 3D reconstruction technique.

The Kinect device also possesses a normal color camera and lets the normal imagery get knotted directly to the 3D map as per requirement.

Apple’s dot projection used for Face ID recognition is basically a micro-sized Kinect

Apple’s dot projection used for Face ID recognition is basically a micro-sized Kinect. The dot emitter in Kinect has high power and can cater to a distance of about 3.5m. Whereas the dot emitter in iPhone is of much lower intensity and saves on a lot of power. It is only used for unlocking the phone and other ID recognition tasks, which are just for short bursts.

Even the Apple system uses a color camera, but only when you are in a dark room, to read your face structure in infrared light using an IR basic light. This way, it gets friendlier than just zapping you with a white and bright light in a room that is dark.

What happens when the dot projector is not working?

As the iPhone X and iPhone 11 series have the Diffused application of Face ID, there are various cases when the failure to recognize your facial structure happens at a high frequency. The biggest drawback of Face ID recognition is that it can be damaged very easily, and when it comes to repairing it, it might take forever to repair. It can be simple if the problem has to do with the flex cable. But if the failure in Face ID recognition is caused by the dot projector or flood illuminator damage, it may not be repairable according to the REWA chip-level motherboard repair service statistics.

How to confirm the issue?

When your device fails to recognize your face, you would be keen to find out what the issue really is. You first need to test the flood illuminator. When you set the Face ID, you will be receiving messages from your phone to move your phone are little higher or lower simultaneously. To check if the Flood Illuminator is working properly, you must test the Ambient Light Sensor and the Proximity Sensor.

You can do this by simply making a phone call to ensure if the Proximity Sensor is working. Once you have checked the Proximity Sensor, you must test the Ambient light sensor. Once both of them are tested and are working normally, you can confirm that the failure to recognize your face is not caused by Flood Illuminator damage.

Your next move should be to check the parts of the front camera. You must go to the camera app and go to Portrait mode. If the background is not blurred, then it is not normal. This is when you need to check whether there is a flashing light from the dot projector or not when you are in the Portrait mode. If there is no red light flashing from the dot projector, then it is confirmed that there is a malfunction in the dot projector. However, the sad news is that it cannot be repaired.

Common Problems of Dot Projector during the repair

The most common problem that users come across after a repair is that it says that the Face ID on the phone cannot be activated. If this happens, there is a chance that the data writing might be abnormal. In case the data is not written correctly or fails, you must use the JC dot projector programmer to write the data again. However, if the JC Repair Assistant App can read the dot projector code, the date is normally written.

In a case scenario where the other components of the dot projector such as the ambient light sensor, infrared camera, and flood illuminator are not working normally, you can use the JC Repair Assistant to detect it also. It would display either abnormal or 000000 to indicate a problem.

You must check that the dot matrix inline base’s ground resistance present on the motherboard is normal or not.

Another problem area is the Virtual Flicker of the portrait. There are possibilities that one or more than one of the four light sets are not switched on, or the Prism and Lattice are not aligned, or the dot matrix alignment or infrared deviation needs adjustments.

Another problem that may arise is that the Face ID recognition cannot be unlocked but recorded. You can go to your settings and turn on the password function. You may find out that the Face ID unlocks function cannot turn on when you do this. The problem is that the luminescent body is not replaceable; otherwise, the recorded face would not be unlocked.

The fourth problem that can arise is unstable unlocking. The IOS system’s version that you are using must be higher than IOS 13. In case you have a lower version, there would be incomplete compatibility.

The dot-matrix alignment and infrared alignment deviations need adjustments

The dot-matrix alignment and infrared alignment deviations need adjustments, and the front module is also a little bias after the screen’s assembly.

There might be other complaints, such as that the glue of it is not secure. Which causes a shift of the prism after some time of use.  Face ID recording can be affected by the residual glue which is present in the prism. This would require cleaning. If the prism is damaged and it is visible that there is damage in the prism outside and inside both. Then it requires you to replace the prism.

You must carefully look for cracks in the magnetic ring of the components that emit light. If this is the problem, then this would cause your phone not to unlock or repair.

As a precaution, you must keep the original glue between the magnetic ring and the prism as far from each other as possible. When you attach the front ring to the prism. You should not put too much glue as this would cause instability while unlocking the phone.

However, make sure that if the MOS tube is short, the prism’s three solder joints do not need welding.

How to Align?

You are requested to move further or closer when you switch on the portrait mode. When you are prompted to move closer. You shall make adjustments to the iron frame in an inward direction. Whereas when you are requested to move further, you can adjust the iron frame in an outward direction.

However, when you switch to a self-portrait mode, you would be requested to move lower or higher. In this case, you must adjust the infrared camera’s iron frame. When it tells you to move higher. You shall adjust it downwards. Whereas when it tells you to move lower, you can adjust it in an upward direction.

These adjustments may be made when the iPhone Face ID keeps prompting to move lower and higher. You can fix the issue by replacing the dot projector flex cable of the iPhone. If you are lucky. This may work for you. But if you are not, this may accompany other problems as well. However, the above mentioned are some problems that would arise.

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