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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.


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.

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.

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

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7 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.”
Rating: 10 Votes
7 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.

Rating: 9 Votes
7 months ago
Of course they are, as their fans scream, "Apple can't innovate"
Rating: 7 Votes
7 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.
Rating: 7 Votes
7 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.
Rating: 5 Votes
7 months ago
Why is the phone spraying her with water? The poor girl is soaked! Can this be disabled in the Android Settings?
Rating: 5 Votes
7 months ago

Here's a realistic scenario. Someone grabs your iPhone, points it at your face, then runs off with your $1,500 phone unlocked. Thus less secure than having just a fingerprint reader.


If it truly is a realistic scenario, you should have no problem providing links to actual cases of this occurring. I'd like to see those please.
Rating: 4 Votes
7 months ago

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.


1. pitiful and ugly. Pitiful. Hmm, it works and works well. I don't understand how that is pitiful. Ugly. If you're talking about "the notch"... This is how true depth is implemented, not true depth itself. You can't really see the true depth camera to call it ugly
2. maybe other companies aren't interested in gimmicks. You mean like having the screen on the edge of your phone or a punchout for a camera? Those aren't gimmicks but putting a truedepth camera in is? And why do these so called "better" companies want the same gimmick... Maybe, just maybe it's not a gimmick.
3. fingerprint is not way more secure, please cite where you get this from. Here's my claim, "Touch ID is a gimmick compared to Face ID."
4. an investment in under the glass FP readers isn't implementation of it. Apple eliminated the paper bag and took a different path. Your other companies stayed in the paper bag for 2 more years and are just getting out with a less reliable system.
Rating: 4 Votes
7 months ago
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.
Rating: 4 Votes
7 months ago
Copy cat google. Only this time harvesting facial 3d maps of Americans and internationals alike.
Rating: 4 Votes

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