Jun 29th, 2012

Remember when the Galaxy Nexus launched and everyone got all hot and bothered when it was tricked by a pic? With this week’s launch of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7, Google has improved the Face Unlock feature with a “Liveness Check” that requires the subject to blink to prove they’re a real person.

I would still argue that the Face Unlock feature is less for advanced security and more for convenience. Rather than swiping a pattern every time, you can simply hold your tablet or phone up and you’re done. If you really need advanced security for your device you should be looking for a much better system.

The “Liveness Check” update is a nice little improvement, but not one I’ll personally use. As previously stated, I’d use Face Unlock for convenience (although I don’t) and adding a “blink check” is an additional step: at that point I might as well use the pattern unlock. Still, some might be reassured by the inclusion and it’s nice to see Google listening and acting on user feedback.

Question: if the original Face Unlock was fooled by a pic, could the Face Unlock Liveness Check be tricked by an animated pic/gif?

local_offer    Android 4.1 Jelly Bean  Jelly Bean