What Is Optic ID and How Does It Work on the Vision Pro Headset?

At WWDC 2023, Apple made several exciting announcements during its two-hour keynote, one of which was the Vision Pro, the tech giant’s first take on an AR/VR headset. The device brings a lot of new features we haven’t seen before!

Now, if you’ve followed along with news about the Vision Pro, there’s a chance you have already heard about Optic ID, but in case you haven’t, here’s everything you need to know about it.


What Is Optic ID?

With the absence of Face ID and Touch ID hardware on the Vision Pro, Apple needed a new system to authenticate users; this is where Optic ID comes into play.

Optic ID is a new authentication system that uses infrared cameras and LED illuminators inside the headset to analyze your iris for unique mapping. The technology can even distinguish between identical twins.

And like with its other biometric authentication systems, Apple will allow you to use Optic ID for authorizing purchases and AutoFill, on top of unlocking the Vision Pro.

How Does Optic ID Work on the Vision Pro?


Apple Vision Pro AR headset inside view
Image Credit: Apple

In an Apple Newsroom post, the company claims Optic ID works by enrolling data that identifies your iris into the Secure Enclave processor and then comparing it with what the hardware sees every time you attempt to unlock the Vision Pro headset.

The initial enrolled image and subsequent ones used for unlocking the device are created by analyzing your iris under various invisible LED light exposures. Apple is likely applying the Neural Engine built into the Vision Pro’s processing hardware to convert this data into a mathematical formula, just like how Face ID works.

Is Optic ID Secure?

Like its other products, Apple states it has built features on the Vision Pro while keeping its tenets in mind. Accordingly, Optic ID data is encrypted and stored locally in the Secure Enclave. It never leaves the device—even for Apple servers—and is inaccessible to installed apps.

Will Apple Bring Optic ID to More Devices?

Apple’s Vision Pro headset is an expensive piece of hardware, and the sheer amount of research and development that has gone into its making is remarkable. But it’s not uncommon to see technology trickle down from benchmark products to other offerings from a company.

Apple has done this before by bringing Touch ID to Macs and Face ID to iPads, so it’s possible that we will see Optic ID on more than just the Vision Pro in the future.


🧪 |Medical Laboratory Scientist 🥇 | Mindset over Everything. 
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