Apple reportedly acquired an Israeli startup that uses facial recognition to unlock your phone

Apple’s latest reported acquisition could allow you to unlock your iPhone with a selfie.

According to Hebrew-language site Calcalist, the Californian technology company has acquired RealFace — an Israeli startup that builds facial recognition technology.

RealFace’s website is not currently online, but videos show off its product in action. It builds tech that aims to replace passwords or logins using facial recognition — letting you unlock your phone or an app with nothing but your face.

Apple reportedly paid “several million dollars” for the company. Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The Times of Israel reports that RealFace had “up to” 10 employees, and had previously raised $US1 million (£800,000) in venture capital funding. It launched in 2014.

This isn’t the first time Apple has indicated interest in companies that tie together artificial intelligence and facial recognition tech. In January 2016, the news broke that it had acquired Emotient, a company that builds tech that scans people’s faces to read their emotions.

Apple has also explored using selfies and facial recognition to unlock your iPhone before. Back in 2015, it was granted a patent for “locking and unlocking a mobile device using facial recognition” — but the feature has yet to make its way into a finished Apple product. rumours swirling that the company is planning to introduce “some form of facial/gesture recognition” in the next iPhone.

Here’s a video showing off RealFace’s tech in action:

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