2D vs. 3D

2D vs. 3D

2D Face Recognition will never provide the accuracy needed for Face Authentication.  There is too much variability and overlapping similarity in human faces to achieve a high enough FAR (False Accept Rate) when they are flattened from 3D to 2D.  Apple’s 3D Face ID uses a special hardware sensor that unlocks a specific phone, but cannot be used on any other devices.




FaceTec® 3D

Axes X,Y X,Y,Z X,Y + Time
Vendors Aware, BioID, Daon, FacePhi, Idemia, iProov, etc. Apple Face ID, Google Pixel 4 FaceTec
Purpose Face Verification Unlock Mobile Phones 3D Face Authentication
Installed Base 10+ Billion Smart Devices (Android - 85% + iOS -14% & Webcams) < 10% of in use iOS devices have Face ID, Pixel 4 will be < 1% of the market. 10+ Billion Smart Devices (Android - 85% + iOS -14% & Webcams)
Portable Biometric Varies None, re-enroll on each device Cross-Device & Cross-Platform
Technology Legacy 2D Algorithms Hardware: Infrared Camera Array & Neural Network Chip Software: Real-time Computer Vision + 100% proprietary AI
Interface Varies Glance to unlock phone 3D Video Selfie: ~2 Seconds
Racial Bias Almost all 2D Algos have significant racial bias None-Reported None exhibited in the Lab or Real World usage
SDK Info Varies No SDK possible, special hardware required Device SDKs for Android/iOS, web & Server SDK
Liveness Method Challenge/Response, Blink, Smile, Turn Head or Flashing Lights, etc. Infrared dots + neural network chip determine if user is 3D Measures 3D Depth, skin texture, eye reflections, etc.
Liveness Strength Fairly Weak Fairly Strong  Strong
3D Depth Detection Weak Strong  Strong
Intellectual Property Legacy 2D Algos are too old for meaningful patents 20+ infrared related patents  acquired in 2013 4 US Patents on 3D process issued, +10 pending globally
FAR/FRR Varies, but 1/<75,000 at real world usable FRRs 1/1M - No FRR stated 1/4,200,000 FAR @ < 1% FRR
Identical Twin Differentiation Very Weak “If you have a Twin, use a PIN.” High 1:1 FAR provides Best Possible Twin Differentiation
Liveness Testing Certifications No 3rd Party Certs No 3rd Party Certs Certified Level 1 & 2 Spoof Detection by iBeta/NIST - Liveness.com
Age Estimation 2D = poor Age Estimates Not Available "Better than Human" Face-Only Anonymous Age Estimation
Match to Photo ID Low-detail & problems with aged photos = low match rates Not Available Provides up to 1/500,000 Match Levels with 3D-2D Matching
Password Replacement? Not secure enough, FAR too low. No, only used for convenience Yes, universal, highly secure & convenient
Spoof Bounty Programs? No, they are all talk. No, no motivation. Yes, $100,000 SpoofBounty.com