Google has devised a unique way of unlocking Android based phones and tablets, in which the users will have the option to unlock their devices by making facial gestures.
For now, the patent is pending approval but the new feature might soon be a reality.
This, I am sure, comes as welcome news for all forgetful people like me who forget their device unlock code far too often and then have to shell out some money to get it ‘unlocked’. But then can’t keep the device unlocked as well because of all the information stored therein which they might not want to share with all those who might have access to their cell phones or android based tablets.
That could include passwords stored in the system, email Inbox, Facebook wall or silly jokes and images shared with friends.
Google had earlier introduced Face Unlock Feature some time back, wherein the users would simply have to upload a couple of their images and store them in their device. The users’ pictures had to match the ones stored inside the system to get access to the Android device.
The Face Unlock System, which first came up for Android 4.0 in devices working on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, was not as much of a hit as Google had wanted it to be.
With hackers always thinking one step ahead and coming up with a simple trick to outsmart the actual owner, it was found that the phones or tablets could be unlocked by anyone using the owners’ photographs. Easy indeed!!
The new Face Unlock in Android would work by requiring the owners to use facial gestures to get access to the device.
The new Android feature would now make use of a ‘Liveness Check’ in Jelly Bean wherein the users will be required to first blink at their cell phones or tablet, so that no one can use pictures of actual users to get to their data.
Owners might also use a series of facial expressions like poking out their tongue, winking at the phone or a wrinkle across the brow to get their devices to work.
The new system would work by comparing the images stored inside the device with the gestures made by the user at that point of time to see if there was any difference between the two.
The new Facial Unlock System has checks and measures which will make it virtually impossible for unauthorized people to get access to a device by using doctored images. These measure would include video streaming of the expressions used, the sequence of the series of movements made by him and also checking the angle at which the person’s face is tilted to the front camera.
“The idea here is that a hacker can fool a computer with a static image. But moving our faces in a very particular way is a unique marker that not even an impostor can fool. At least that’s the theory,” said Rebecca Greenfield of The Atlantic Wire, a US-based magazine that first broke this story.
Google has already applied for a patent for this unique facial unlock system patented, though it is still pending approval.
The pending patent explains how the devices will emit light beams of different colors or frequencies which would then have to match the users’ at the time of accessing the phone or tablet.
With Apple Inc. announcing Fingerprint Scans and Motorola asking users to watch out for Password Tattoos, Google had to come up with something.
So, if you see your CEO making silly faces into his phone or frowning into his table in the middle of a meeting or a hot babe winking at her cell phone in a jam packed lift in the near future, you need not think that the person concerned has lost it completely!! The poor guy or gal might just be trying to get his device to work, you know.
While the promised feature does indeed look interesting, only time will tell how successful or not the “Liveness Check” in the new proposed Facial Unlock System actually will be.
Info Courtesy: VentureBeat, Guardian News