Security has taken centre stage in discussion forums of late, especially surrounding Android. With the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google say they have listened, promising tighter behind the scenes measures as well as a new, hyper-secure unlock system that now offers security with a smile. Literally.
The Face Unlock tool recognises key individual differences between faces, enabling a user to pre-programme their face once and from then on use a glance at the front facing camera to unlock their phone. Faced with a degree of scepticism, members of the Google team appear to have total confidence in their product. Tim Bray even went so far as to retort to one developer’s tweet that a photo could override the security measure, stating “Nope. Give us some credit”.
Unsurprisingly, real or not, evidence to the contrary has come to light. A video showing Google’s Face Unlock being fooled, not by a photo per se, but by a Samsung Galaxy Note has surface on YouTube. As you can see below, the keen reporter from Soyacincau.com unlocks the phone using a photo of his face taken on the Note a total of three times in a bid to dispel disbelievers.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding the set-up as you’ll see in the YouTube comments section. The creator of the video is repeatedly accused of programming the 2D face into the Galaxy Nexus rather than his 3D variant, so whether to take the video at face value is up to you. That said, with the release of the handset expected in the coming weeks, soon enough we’ll all get to try out Face Unlock and see just how secure a smile can be.