One of the headline highlights for the Google Pixel 4 is that instead of a fingerprint sensor, it adds a new, safe face unlock feature It only points out that “secure” is a relative term, as even when your eyes are shut, the mobile can open. Google has sent us a message pledging to release an upgrade to the software that will fix the problem, but sadly the timeframe is longer than consumers might want. Google says it has “been working on an alternative that will require users to open their eyes to unlock the phone that will be released in the coming months as part of a software update.”
The face unlock feature of the Pixel 4 is very similar to the system of the iPhone, using infrared projectors and cameras to create and read your face’s precise depth map. This makes it safer than other solutions based on RGB camera — it can’t be tricked on a flat screen with a photo or video.
Apple’s Face ID program, though, needs attention — in the context of opening your eyes or staring at the screen. If they like, users can disable this function.
There have been reports on the Pixel 4 face unlock settings of a “Require eyes to be an open option, but the toggle is not there on the devices that Google revealed at its case, nor will it be there this week on shipping models.
Google states in its announcement that although it operates with your eyes closed, it claims that “Pixel 4 face unlock satisfies security requirements as a solid biometric and can be used for transactions and authentication purposes, including banking apps. It is resilient to invalid attempts at unlocking by other means, such as masks.
If you’re looking at it in other instances, the Pixel 4 will tell. It has a screen attention functionality that, when you look at it, prevents the monitor from turning off. Google now also needs to make it work to unlock the phone.
Sadly for Google, for its face unlock app, this isn’t the first piece of drama. Before its launch, Google was forced to admit that contracted workers had targeted homeless people to collect data to improve facial unlock on a wide variety of faces Google also discontinued the audit system. To people who buy the Pixel 4, Google again pointed out that “if any user of Pixel 4 is afraid that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they may trigger a security feature which needs a pin, pattern or code for the next unlock.” This feature is the “lockdown” alternative which occurs if you click the power button for a long time.