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?
When Face Unlock was first introduced through Ice Cream Sandwich, Android enthusiasts were quick to test its level of security. They quickly found it to be easily bypassable if you had a photo of the person that it was programmed for. While there may be few instances where someone has stolen your phone and also has a picture of you lying around, it was still an issue. Well, not any longer. (more…)
Exactly one year ago today, we asked in a poll if readers actually used the front-facing camera on their devices. The feedback was actually interesting, with a majority 34% of 10,000 voters stating their devices didn’t even have a front-facing shooter, but that they indeed wanted one. Coming in a semi-close second were folks who mentioned they only used their front lens for special occasions.
With the introduction of Face Unlock in Ice Cream Sandwich and many readers having upgraded to devices since then and now, we’re back to re-visit this question and get some updated numbers. So tell us, do you use your front-facing shooter?
Someone in the Android community was bored over the last few days and decided to open up one of the .xml files for the Face Unlock feature in Ice Cream Sandwich. They noticed a list of items that for some reason, made them jump to the conclusion that these are a part of Google’s rumored voice recognition/artificial intelligence service codenamed “Majel.” As you can see from the list, they appear to be somewhat witty responses to actions. The only thing is, these are clearly alternate responses that appear on the screen when the Face Unlock doesn’t recognize you.
The first response listed is “Sorry, don’t recognize you.” If anyone has used Face Unlock at all, you will know that this is the canned response that appears every time. The others, are options that can probably be enabled, but for whatever reason, have not been. It’s not Majel. These aren’t voice-related or intelligent responses. They are pre-set lines that are displayed on the screen when the unlock feature does not recognize you. That’s it.
According to Apple patent investigator Patently Apple, the Cupertino based king of patent trolling has filed for a new facial unlock detection patent. Seriously, Apple? You don’t even have facial recognition technology out to the public yet, but your competitor does and you file for a patent on it? I mean, come on. We get that you hate Android with a passion, however, this just looks pathetic.
If you glance over the fancy little stick-figured depiction of this new technology, you will see that it matches up almost perfectly to what the same feature does in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Let’s see, it says that the device will look for eyes and a mouth in normal locations, analyze weight differences, and then unlock if it matches up to the one on file. Yeah, that’s exactly how Android’s face unlock works. (more…)