Apple was recently awarded US patent No. 9,589,177 (filed in 2015) covering detection of human faces in digital video using depth map information. Face detection is an integral first step in bio-recognition technologies. You can read more about Apple’s latest patent here.
The software works by scanning a digital image and extrapolating whether a “window,” contains a face. The depth mapping system is based on infrared motion tracking technology, similar versions are used in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect sensor.
Rumours are now circulating that this new technology could appear in Apple’s next iPhone mobile phone.