Typing in passwords and struggling with pattern locks to unlock smartphones could be a thing of the past. Close on the heels of the arrival of the much awaited facial recognition system, Google has filed a patent that would allow Android users to take the technology a step further.
With the launch of Face Unlock in 2011, Google did face a fair amount of criticism, mostly by security experts who claimed that it could be easily bypassed by using static photos up to the phone's camera.
This patent would supposedly take the facial recognition technology a step further, and will allow Android users to unlock phones only after they demonstrate acts of 'liveliness' such as frowning, smiling, poking out the tongue, wrinkling the nose and so on.
This new technology, if approved, would prove to be much more advanced, compared to the update to Face Unlock in 2012, where the users would have to blink at the camera to prove that they were alive, which was yet another flawed attempt, considering that this could be achieved by using clever photo editing tricks.
This new patent, if approved, would have the users pull specific pre-defined facial expressions, and the users would have to consider pulling a similar expression to unlock their phone, which would then be compared with the previously captured photos.
"The anti-spoofing techniques herein may use facial gestures such as blinks, winks, and other gestures that may be performed within the confines of a human face.
"[The device] may detect facial gestures associated with various facial features.
"Examples include one or both eyes (e.g., for blinks, winks, etc.), the mouth area (e.g., for gestures including smiling, frowning, displaying a user's teeth, extending a user's tongue, etc.), the nose (e.g., for a nose wrinkle gesture, etc.), the forehead (e.g., for a forehead wrinkle gesture, etc.), one or both eyebrows (for eyebrow raise and compression gestures, etc.), and various others," the patent said.