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Google Grabs Patent Detailing Multiple User Face Unlock, Readying it for Primetime

The not-so-secret of Google’s next step for Android got another leak today. Google has won a patent that allows Android to differentiate between users on a device by using Face Unlock. Using this alongside the multi-user framework, that is already in place just not working yet, would allow for one user to pick it up and use Face Unlock to access their profile and user data while another person’s face would take them to a different set of user data.

When finding patents like this we don’t even know if Google plans on using them, but this one seems to be critical to something they are already working on. We are just wondering in which version of Android are we going to see it first?

Via: Engadget

  • digitalicecream

    Chrome OS maybe? I see this working on my Lime Chrome, or even my desktop if I could manage to get Chrome OS to boot on it.

  • EC8CH

    Just another lame software patent that is fairly obvious and only an incremental improvement on existing accounts/passwords.

    • ddevito

      This will probably tie into multi-user account functionality. I wouldn’t judge it by this patent alone.

      • EC8CH


        You used to type in a password and you would be taken to your personal account.

        Replace typing in password with facial recognition and you have the same functionality.

        Incremental improvement at best.

        Even if this is Google I still think it’s an example of obvious patents that are only incremental improvements on existing technology.

        • ddevito

          Incremental improvement over what? Multi-user support isn’t officially supported yet, this patent is the final piece, not the underlying functionality.

          Not multi account, multi-USER. I’ve added my wife as a USER to the tablet, not her google account. I think you’re confusing two different things.

          When she logs into my N7 with her user account, the tablet is hers, my apps, data, info, etc aren’t running. She only sees HER apps, data, widgets, etc etc

          • EC8CH

            In WinXP I can set up multiple accounts and each user can access their own specific user data and setting by entering in a password.

            The amount of original thought required to jump from that to this should be considered below the threshold for patentability.

            And a faceunlock that can detect more than one person is not a very unique concept either.

          • ddevito

            “should be considered below the threshold for patentability”
            Have you NOT been paying attention to the tech world lately? :p

            Yes, of course desktop OSs have had this for a while, UNIX has had it for 40+ years. But mobile devices don’t have it yet, so a first’s a first nonetheless. It really is sorely needed.

          • EC8CH

            Oh I totally agree, but if we think slide to unlock is wrong, we should also agree that this is wrong as well.

            It’s a great idea and could be very useful, but should it be considered patentable?

          • Jeremy Bardrof

            This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type situation. If Google didn’t patent it, someone else would. So, you’ve gotta play the game, patent stuff that shouldn’t really be patentable and arm yourself against all the other silly patents. While in principle the patent is bad, I like the idea of companies having mutually offsetting patent portfolios, it gives SOME incentive to change the system, rather than one company simply gaming it to their advantage.

  • ddevito

    key lime pie cometh!

    This is why Google should never stop the 6 month iterations.

  • smwandrie93

    they first need to fix the face unlock feature in the first place… i have a razr maxx, and put on the face unlock feature, gave it to my girlfriend to see how accurate it was, and it unlocked instantly, and i really dont think me with short black hair, blue/green eyes and no facial jewerly compared to her very long brown hair, brown eyes, and earring, lip ring and eyebrow right look anything alike…. fix what you have first then expand… just saying

    • Me

      She sounds cute, got a pic? lol

      • smwandrie93

        to both i laughed my ass off to this!

    • Jarred Sutherland

      This is a lie, you know you don’t have a girlfriend.


    • Bsody

      Playing dress up is not the same as having a real girlfriend.

  • lgreg64

    This will be used in nex 7 so your family can share one tablet.

    • ddevito

      it’s already possible, this will be the front-end to it. I’ve already added an account for my wife.

      • lgreg64

        i have a family of five and if there is a way for my 8yr old to pick up the tablet and not see my e-mail and personal info and have a tailored setup just for them by just picking up the tablet and unlocking would be great

        • ddevito

          patience, cometh soon in key lime pie this will…

          • lgreg64

            i agree. i think Google is moving in the right direction in make there tablets more family friendly.

  • Will be very useful for tablets

  • jak_341

    Do that many people share tablets and phones that this is needed? Google really needs to step it up. Apple is starting to look more attractive to a lot of people. 1 in 5 plan on switching, according to Engadget. I have seen polls showing as high as 1 in 3.

    • Hunter

      I think you have it backwards. They are thinking about switching from Apple to Android.

    • ddevito

      What the hell are you talking about?

      Adding multi-user support is a MUST-HAVE and is sorely missing from ANY tablet today – yes, even the iPad.

  • JoshGroff

    Well, that’s freaking awesome.

  • Bert336

    useles imo…

    • Bert336


    • farty

      Great for home tablets.
      Don’t want the kids looking through your emails?
      Use a desperate profile.

      Either than mistrust or simple shame; no real use.
      But that in itself is huge if you ask me.
      Kudos Google. Bring it to the masses!

      • Corey Foltman

        you don’t necessarily need a password on the user profiles…but multiple profiles would be nice so i dont have to see all of her notifications clogging up my notification bar…

  • RadicalPie

    Google … innovation never stops.

  • Somehow this will end in a lawsuit.

    • Apostrafee

      Yup because Apple was planning to put that feature in the iPhone 7

      • smwandrie93

        wow, not even up for 30 mintues and already people bringing up apple saying their going to sue for this…really are you 4 again…it happened they won, who cares, those devices from samsung dont even matter anymore…

  • KleenDroid