Yeah, Face Unlock might have been cool for its time. But some people's facial look can change. Ask fans of guitarist Eric Clapton, who some say never looks the same in any two pictures. If he owns an Android phone with Ice Cream Sandwich or higher, he might not be able to use the feature. What he might be able to do in the future is call upon Voice Unlock, which uses a passphrase spoken by the phone's owner to unlock a device. The technology has been debuted thanks to the launch of the Lenovo A586 in China.
Unlock the Lenovo A586 with your voice
Lenovo tells us that the technology behind this feature was "pioneered by A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and enhanced by the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC)," and we believe them. While this is the first handset on the market that listens to its master's voice, the device you are unlocking isn't exactly filled with high end specs. The Lenovo A586 is equipped with a 4.5 inch screen with resolution of 480 x 854 and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. So mid-2011. While Lenovo says major telecommunications providers and online stores offer the phone, which was released on Friday.
Obviously some safeguards will need to be taken and we would suggest using a passphrase that is not something you commonly say to prevent an accidental unlocking. For example, considering that this technology is on an Android device, you could make your passphrase, "Please pass me my Apple iPhone 5."
"We are delighted that our months of hard work and efforts are bearing fruits with the launch of the Lenovo A586 that incorporates our Speaker Verification technology. This is a strong endorsement of user-inspired research and cutting-edge speech and language technology in I2R and BIRC. We look forward to more innovative products from the Baidu and I2R partnership."-Dr. Li Haizhou, Co-Director of BIRC
1. Singapore, 30 November 2012 – Using your voice as a unique identification to unlock your smartphone is no longer a fantasy or just another scene from a futuristic movie. The technology will be embedded in Lenovo’s smartphone – Lenovo A586, which will be available from 30th November 2012 in China through major telecommunications providers and online shops. This innovative Speaker Verification technology was pioneered by A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and enhanced by the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC).
2. The adoption of the Speaker Verification technology in the Lenovo A586 smartphone demonstrates A*STAR’s success in translating results from research collaborations with corporations in Singapore to industry applications. It also marks a major milestone for BIRC, a joint laboratory between A*STAR’s I2R and Baidu, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. BIRC, Baidu’s first overseas joint R&D facility, officially opened in Singapore in July this year.
3. The Lenovo A586 smartphone is the first in the industry that incorporates this Speaker Verification technology into its operating system. With this distinctive feature, an authorized user can unlock the smartphone simply by speaking a passphrase, without the need to use PINs, passwords or finger swipe patterns.
4. Dr. Li Haizhou, Co-Director of BIRC said, “We are delighted that our months of hard work and efforts are bearing fruits with the launch of the Lenovo A586 that incorporates our Speaker Verification technology. This is a strong endorsement of user-inspired research and cutting-edge speech and language technology in I2R and BIRC. We look forward to more innovative products from the Baidu and I2R partnership.”
5. “Lenovo A586′s adoption of the Speaker Verification technology that is developed through our joint effort with Baidu demonstrates I2R’s commitment to translate their expertise in speech and language technologies into products that benefits consumers and the industry. It is indeed encouraging that an A*STAR-developed technology is being deployed in China, the largest and world’s fastest growing smartphone market,” said Dr. Tan Geok Leng, Executive Director of I²R.