Google says Face Unlock will not work with a picture

Google says Face Unlock will not work with a picture
The new Face Unlock feature for Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the more intriguing features that will be available, we don't know a lot about how it exactly is going to work. Obviously, it would have helped if the demo at the Galaxy Nexus announcement had actually worked, but since we don't have that, we have to just guess. 

The Cyanogen lead developer Koush tweeted that it seemed like it would be easy enough to game the system by using a photograph to hack into someone's phone. It's a valid worry, but also one that shows a pretty small amount of faith in the Google engineers. That fear has been put to rest by Android-focused Developer Advocate Tim Bray, who has said that a photo will not be enough to unlock your phone. 

Now, the big question is in how long Face Unlock will take to get you into your phone. Face Unlock sounds great, and Google is known for pushing its products to be fast, but Face Unlock needs to be very fast to keep users content. 

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52 Comments

46. vijaysivakula

Posts: 229; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

Duh! Would this have a flash in the front for those evenings and nights without a lot of light? This should also have a snore sensor or it would get activated every time i turn towards the phone while i sleep.

40. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

I'm not sure why Michael H. finds this to be an intriguing feature; there's an app for the same functionality at Ovi. Surely there is an app for this in the Android market, yes?

42. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

everything is better native baby.

44. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Yes there is one on the market ,but many will work with a picture this one won't , this one is also embed in the system, as always from google the"facelock" is an invitation for devs to do something cool with it. Learning how it works assures an app could use your face for tons of other things All it needs is creative mind

38. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Lol, I think the point is not that something can't be worked around, but to make it hard enough to work around that to the average asshole it's not worth the effort. :)

52. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Agreed, and as proven in the original demo, it won't even let in the actual owner of the phone. Now THAT is security.

29. Tmachaveli

Posts: 425; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

man its gonna be some ugly ppl looking into there phones. lol

26. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

ah glad that question is answered now what about people who get plastic surgery to look like you...

36. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Just get plastic surgery to look like them & reprogram the phone.

49. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I think we're getting some good ideas here. So far, we have to ask Google about: photorealistic masks, video, and Face-off scenarios.

50. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

don't forget look a likes! o:

24. Alantef

Posts: 288; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

really quick...you guys are funny...i love you guys lol

28. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

you love us? why?

31. Alantef

Posts: 288; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

not you....you didn't say anything funny....so this doesn't apply to you

21. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

This s**t looks sweet.

17. dex-4

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

What happens if I am in a accident and my face is all messed up or even worse how will it recognize my wife without her makeup?

18. Snapdude

Posts: 128; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

+1 lololol

25. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

My N8 is able to recognize people faces on the pictures and even on the newspaper with the face detection feature, so I guess it is possible that a picture of you can unlock the phone.

30. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

hmm... simple actually, the phone unlock system has a secondary option - You can add a simple pin code or you could also add a unlock pattern like in older androids. if facial recognition fails, the secondary option pops up.

16. blackrose

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

it takes about two seconds check it on engadget

13. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I have to add something here. This face recognition in Nexus is by PittPatt systems. http://www.pittpatt.com/ Google acquired this company. Actually it had only 3 employees (or partners if you call so). All of them are big shot Ph.D holders. Andy Rubin mentioned in the interview yesterday that they had to "slow" down the PittPatt system. http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/19/andy-rubin-ice-cream-sandwichs-face-unlock-is-developed-by-pit/ Demo:http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/19/ice-cream-sandwich-face-unlock-demo-video/

27. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Those are some ugly chicas at that pittpatt.com website.

7. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

What about a life-cast of the face?

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what if we just chopped the head off and wiggled the mouth infront of the camera?

14. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

LOL!!

15. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

LMFAO

33. Hallucinator

Posts: 391; Member since: May 24, 2010

I tried that with the beta and it worked fine

12. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

If someone goes through the effort to make a perfect 3D replica of your face, they deserve to unlock your phone. On that note, I'd assume there's a slew of reasons a picture wouldn't work, from the lighting not being proper, to curving of the picture, reflection off the picture, who knows. Aside from a picture of you, I don't think any other way of hacking it would be highly practical

6. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

What about a 3D picture/video.

23. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

You would need 2 lenses to read that it is indeed 3D. So 2 phones out of all Androids would be able to do this (not Nexus). Side note, say you have 2 EVO 3Ds...play a 3D video on device A, record 3D video on device B of the 3D playback on device A...Will the video look 3D on device B?

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