Unlocking the smartphone by recognizing the user’s face has recently become quite a popular convenience. However, most of the mechanisms available on Android are not secure enough. That’s why Google started working on its own Face ID counterpart. This feature should be available on devices with Android Q.

Face recognition is a pretty useful function. However, hardly any Android smartphone uses a mechanism that provides security similar to Apple’s Face ID. Most Android phones recognize the user’s face based on the analysis of the photo taken with the front camera. This mechanism is not very safe and can be fooled by a simple photo. More sophisticated methods use infrared camera, IR luminator, proximity sensor and TOF (Time of Fly) sensor. The right combination of all these elements allows to build a system that makes a three-dimensional face scan. Systems similar to Face ID have few Android smartphones. They are, for example, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition. However, thanks to Google work, other manufacturers could join to this group.

Face ID

Android Q with native Face ID support will increase the demand for required components

Nobody admitted this openly. However, we can almost be sure that the biggest difficulties that Huawei and Xiaomi encountered while working on Face ID were related to software development. The Chinese had to first implement a user’s face scanning mechanism. Then came the algorithm that compares the face of a person trying to unlock the phone with a pattern stored in the memory. This means that Huawei and Xiaomi had to introduce in Android quite a lot of proprietary changes. However, the code snippets found in the latest test version of Android Q suggest that Google will provide the software needed for the Face ID equivalent.

The bottom line is that Google’s Face ID will be integrated with payments in the Play store. This means that the Mountain View giant has developed a face recognition system that is just as safe as fingerprint readers. Unfortunately, we do not know when it will be available in Android Q. It is also difficult to speculate whether Pixel 4 will support Face ID. However, Google engineers must somehow test new functionality. It’s true that they can do it with the Pixel 4 prototype, but it can also be Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition.

Source: XDA Developers

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