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Old Nov 23, 2012, 12:57 PM   #1
stanw
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Face detection/unlock?

1. Is this part of Android OS or some skin?

2. If so, which version of Android?

3. Is it just a gimmick or can it actually be a useful feature?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:00 PM   #2
daveathall
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It is in Android 4.2, I dont know on the others you requested.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw View Post
1. Is this part of Android OS or some skin?

2. If so, which version of Android?

3. Is it just a gimmick or can it actually be a useful feature?

Thanks.
Either ICS or Jelly Bean has it, I think?

I've used it. It's amazingly functional. I still prefer pattern unlock.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw View Post
1. Is this part of Android OS or some skin?

2. If so, which version of Android?

3. Is it just a gimmick or can it actually be a useful feature?

Thanks.
It is a feature that comes with ICS. I use it on my tablet only because it is more convenient and faster than any other lock method. On my phone, I find the pattern unlock to be faster than face unlock.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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It's easily tricked from last I read. While its unlikely someone that steals or finds your phone will have a picture of you if you are trying to prevent people you live with from messing with your devices it's easily bypassed.

I have vanilla ICS on my Motorola Xoom and it does not have it. Might be a hardware limitation due to camera quality I guess.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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It's easily tricked from last I read. While its unlikely someone that steals or finds your phone will have a picture of you if you are trying to prevent people you live with from messing with your devices it's easily bypassed..
Yep, the first version could be fooled by a photo.

Jellybean added a "liveness check" that asks you to blink.

It also requires using an alternate unlock method if the facial recognition fails too many times in a row.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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Hmm I'm not seeing a prompt to blink on my N7 with 4.2. It's decent but it's just a gimmick at this point because it takes it 3-5 seconds to recognize you, and you have to sit there and point the camera to yourself during that time. I do appreciate that Google is experimenting though, it's pretty cool to play with. I think the best security will be a fingerprint reader, which I believe Lenovo will have one on their windows tablet.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
I've used it. It's amazingly functional. I still prefer pattern unlock.
I've used it as well and you must have pretty low standards for what you consider amazing. Have to position the camera just right, need right amount of lighting--have to agree with spinedoc77 that's it's really just a gimmick. The disclaimer that pops up when you activate the feature says it all.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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I've used it as well and you must have pretty low standards for what you consider amazing. Have to position the camera just right, need right amount of lighting--have to agree with spinedoc77 that's it's really just a gimmick. The disclaimer that pops up when you activate e feature says it all.
Well, it does need to see your face, no? I didn't find it difficult to position it. Not like I had to keep trying. It can definitely get better, but I was expecting it to rarely work. And with 4.2, it's gotten a lot faster.

But again, I use pattern unlock. Face unlock is def. a little gimmicky at this point.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Hmm I'm not seeing a prompt to blink on my N7 with 4.2. It's decent but it's just a gimmick at this point because it takes it 3-5 seconds to recognize you, and you have to sit there and point the camera to yourself during that time. I do appreciate that Google is experimenting though, it's pretty cool to play with. I think the best security will be a fingerprint reader, which I believe Lenovo will have one on their windows tablet.
Remember when all ThinkPads had fingerprint readers on them? As an alternative to passwords for Windows? They were ace.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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I find that face unlock works about 90-95% of the time. The only problems I have is when there is a bright light source behind me. I have to remember to ensure there is no lamp directly behind. I find that the presence of the bright light source in the background of the image causes the face unlock to not recognise my face.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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I lock my Nexus 7 with a photograph of Hitler.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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Never used it last versions of android but I just tried it in 4.2 and it was very very quick.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:15 AM   #14
kdarling
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Originally Posted by spinedoc77 View Post
Hmm I'm not seeing a prompt to blink on my N7 with 4.2.
Settings - security - liveness check (after facial recog turned on)

Quote:
It's decent but it's just a gimmick at this point because it takes it 3-5 seconds to recognize you, and you have to sit there and point the camera to yourself during that time..
Gets me within a second. YMMV.

Quote:
I do appreciate that Google is experimenting though, it's pretty cool to play with. .
Yep. Apple is playing with it as well. They recently got a patent on a low power, always on, variation. It first checks only if a human is looking at the phone, so it can know when to try full recognition with more CPU power.

The human check is simply looking for an orange blob. Turns out everyone is some lighter or darker shade of orange ... Not pink or black or white.

Quote:
I think the best security will be a fingerprint reader, which I believe Lenovo will have one on their windows tablet.
Interesting. It seems that about every five years, fingerprint sensors make a comeback.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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I'm just playing with it for the first time on my N10. I can't believe how fast it is. As soon as I get my face in the box it unlocks.

It's also pretty fast to default to the alternative means of unlocking in low light.

I don't know if I'd use it for a device I have very sensitive data on but for my tablet at my house its awesome.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:07 AM   #16
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I agree with the folks that say the technology is a gimmick. I have had that similar tech on an ASUS laptop I bought a few years back. It was slow, often took many tries to unlock, and one time the laptop unlocked when my son was looking at it and only my pictures were loaded to unlock the laptop.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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I tried facial unlock and agree it is mostly a gimmick right now. I can see how it can be improved though. For one thing, eliminating the need to show my own face when unlocking would be nice.

One thing though, speed: in testing again now I noticed it is VERY fast on my Nexus 4 in normal room lighting. I don't think I can unlock as fast using a pattern. It is literally just 1 sec. I don't have the blink check on.

I think I am going to leave it on for a while and see how it goes. I was using pattern but I often get it wrong. Don't like that it shows the pattern you drew when you get it wrong--even when show pattern is turned off. Could you imagine that happening with a password or pin? lol




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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:39 PM   #18
kdarling
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I wonder if there's an API for it.

You could have a launcher that customizes for each user ... Or even unknown guests.

It could recognize your child and default to a limited mode, for example.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:57 PM   #19
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Hmm, played around with it today, it seems quicker, it gets me within a second or so, and it is extremely neat. I have a couple of issues though, I'm 99% in landscape mode and seems you have to tilt the camera to face you or it won't recognize you, also I tend to block out the camera partially with my left hand holding the tablet, which also causes it to fail. But holding it in portrait worked very well, although if I have it locked in landscape but open it in portrait it will fail.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:12 PM   #20
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Hmm, played around with it today, it seems quicker, it gets me within a second or so, and it is extremely neat. I have a couple of issues though, I'm 99% in landscape mode and seems you have to tilt the camera to face you or it won't recognize you, also I tend to block out the camera partially with my left hand holding the tablet, which also causes it to fail. But holding it in portrait worked very well, although if I have it locked in landscape but open it in portrait it will fail.
I think the first time I tried it on my Nexus 4 was before I applied the 4.2 update. I would swear the first time I tried it it was not as fast as now. Wonder if the update sped it up.

In any case I am using it now and liking it so far. It is so fast I thought for sure it can be easily fooled. But so far I have not been able to get it to unlock with a photo. Even if I close one eye it will not unlock.

This is more advanced than I first thought.


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