Google Developing More Secure Face ID-Style Facial Recognition System for Android Devices

Google appears to be working on a facial recognition system that would offer similar security to Face ID, based on code for the next-generation version of Android that was highlighted by XDA Developers.

Code in Android Q, set to be shown off at Google's developer conference in May, points towards an advanced facial recognition system that would be secure enough to be used for authorizing purchases and signing into apps, in addition to unlocking a smartphone.

faceidscaniphonex
Furthermore, the code references a built-in hardware based sensor through error messages that are highlighted when the sensor is unable to properly detect a face.

Combined, these two factors suggest that Google is expecting future smartphones to feature an advanced facial recognition system that could perhaps be as secure as ‌Face ID‌.

androidfaceunlock1

Android Q code referencing a secure face unlock system. Click to enlarge.

Right now, there are Android devices that are using 2D facial recognition techniques to replace a passcode, but none of those systems are based on 3D face scans like ‌Face ID‌. Facial recognition used by Android right now is more rudimentary and easily fooled, which is why Android devices continue to use fingerprint sensors for operations that need more security like payments.

The Android Q code indicates Google is building a native secure facial recognition option into the next version of Android, which would allow smartphone manufacturers to create systems that rival ‌Face ID‌.

androidfaceunlock2

Android Q code referencing a secure face unlock system. Click to enlarge.

‌Face ID‌ was first introduced in 2017 in the iPhone X, and has since expanded to the ‌iPhone‌ XR, XS, XS Max, and the 2018 iPad Pro models. At the time ‌Face ID‌ was introduced, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested the sophistication of the 3D camera system Apple uses would be unable to be matched by Android smartphone makers for 2.5 years.

One and a half years later, there are still no Android smartphone manufacturers that have created a front-facing camera system similar to the TrueDepth camera system able to be used for all secure system functions like payments.

Google's work on adding secure facial recognition code to Android does, however, suggest that Android devices with Face ID-like systems are in the works and coming soon.

Top Rated Comments

pat500000 Avatar
46 months ago
Secure?

Google: “hello mr nsa... can you see their faces through our new face id tech?”

Nsa: “yes, we scanned every detail of their faces...including their zits.”
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
46 months ago
I managed to find what I believe to be a demo of this Google-developed facial recognition. It actually doesn't seem that bad:



First of all, this quote makes it seem like no one is capable of engineering something like the pitiful and ugly TrueDepth camera. I mean, maybe, just maybe Samsung/Google/whatever aren't interested in gimmicks like Apple is. That's what FaceID is. It's a gimmick. Fingerprint is way more secure and easier and companies like Samsung are investing in under-glass fingerprint readers—something Apple FAILED to do because they can't engineer their way out of a paper bag.
And now Google and other Android manufacturers are spending time and money developing their own variations on this "gimmick". Even the companies you feel the need to shoehorn into each of your posts don't agree with your appraisal of Apple's biometrics.

Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
46 months ago
Irrespective of anyone views on which brands people think are best.
I hope we can all come together and agree, any enhancements to security for easy use by the public, is always good news.
Enhancing privacy and the inability of others to access your data should be welcomed no matter what device, or brand of device anyone chooses to own.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
modemthug Avatar
46 months ago
Of course they are, as their fans scream, "Apple can't innovate"
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
outskirtsofinfinity Avatar
46 months ago
Why is the phone spraying her with water? The poor girl is soaked! Can this be disabled in the Android Settings?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
46 months ago
Secure?

Google: “hello mr nsa... can you see their faces through our new face id tech?”

Nsa: “yes, we scanned every detail of their faces...including their zits.”
No need.... your face is photographed pretty much every time you go out in public.
From traffic cameras to CCTV cams in stores, security cameras at work, and let's not forget all those pics everyone plasters all over social media.
Oh and that government issued ID or Drivers License... I really don't think the NSA cares about this new feature.
They know what you look like. ;)
[doublepost=1548714020][/doublepost]
Let's see if they can fix the false positives of Face ID. Still prefer fingerprint for unlocking without taking eyes of road and retina for MFA for transactions and secure folder. Begs the question if face recognition is needed at all.
Still one of the features I miss about my old phone. Not having to stare at it to unlock it.
Fingerprint was fast and discrete.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...