Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
News
News Categories

Google will update the Pixel 4's Face Unlock with eye detection

By Koh Wanzi - on 21 Oct 2019, 6:42pm

Google will update the Pixel 4's Face Unlock with eye detection

Google Pixel 4

Google's Face Unlock feature will get a much needed update to make it more secure. Shortly after the Pixel 4 and 4 XL were announced, it emerged that their headlining "secure" Face Unlock feature might not be that secure after all. You could unlock the phone even with your eyes closed, which meant that someone could hold the phone up to your face while you were sleeping to gain access to it. 

However, while Google is standing by its facial recognition feature and saying that it still "meets the security requirements as a strong biometric" and is secure enough for payments and app authentication, the company has confirmed that it is working on a fix. The timeline for this is still a little nebulous though, and Google says the option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone will be delivered in a software update in the "coming months". 

Either way, Pixel 4 phones that ship this week definitely won't be coming with the update yet. 

The Pixel 4's Face Unlock feature works much like the iPhone, relying on an IR flood emitter and dot projector to create and read a depth map of your face. This means they can't be tricked with things like photos or videos, so they're more secure than a solution based on RGB cameras.

The key difference is that Apple's Face ID needs the user to be alert and looking at the phone, although users have the option to disable that feature. 

Here's a look at Google's full statement:

We’ve been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock. Pixel 4 face unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps. It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks.

Source: The Verge

Loading...