The Reality of Face Unlock- Briefly Explained

The Reality of Face Unlock- Briefly Explained

Face unlock is the latest security feature on smartphones. It is fast and very easy to use. What a great way of unlocking your phone by mere looking into it. Efforts of engineers have figured out this awesome way of secure unlocking. Nowadays it is a built-in feature in various smartphones. It is really tedious entering a password or making patterns every time we need to operate our phone and Face unlock method is the best way to get rid of.

Face unlock is based on Face recognition method. It is a solution designed for recognizing a human face without any physical contact.

How Face Unlock Feature Works

The idea behind this technology is that the selfie camera of your smartphone takes a look at you and analyses various aspects of your face. It runs through algorithms that match the facial aspects of a person to the image saved in the database i.e. with the data which is stored when you set up the face unlock feature. You can just unlock your phone by simply posing for a picture. Isn’t it nice?

Face unlock feature identifies the unique features of your face and compares it with the existing database of your image. Sensors detect and identifies the shape of face, by the color of iris, nose shape, jaw, and cheekbones, etc. Once the database matches the image with the face of a person, the face is verified and the mobile is unlocked.

This non-contact feature makes the identification and verification of individual’s identity very easy and it involves less processing too.

Face Unlock (Face Recognition) – Flexible and Powerful

As already told that Face unlock feature is based on Face recognition technology, has a wide range of applications; in the camera of tablets, smartphones, this technology can replace passwords for device and users account access. It is also used to access control at high-value sites. The reality of Face unlock is that various retailers are also adopting this technology as a source to gather crucial demographic data. 

Various problems showing the Reality of Face Unlock

There are various problems which are faced due to the type of image used. These issues are not easy to solve. Some of the problematic situations through which we can understand the reality of Face unlock feature is mentioned below:

  • The difference in the light can affect the efficiency of recognition
  • The similar pose an individual is taking while image capture
  • Age is another major factor. We all know that facial features change with the time. Especially certain parts of our face keep growing throughout our life.
  • Partially covering the face can also affect the recognition process; For example, wearing sunglasses, different hairstyles, cosmetics, facial hair etc.
  • Maintaining exact resolution is also difficult.

A specific face recognition technique might design a few algorithms and techniques to improve recognition capabilities. Though there are some new and old recognition algorithms, their efficiency too depends on the types of image you will be working with.

Face Unlocking on Several devices failed, reality of face unlock
Face Unlocking on Several devices failed, Raw Source: Norton

Face Unlocking on several Android Smartphones Failed

Various analysts tested face unlock feature on 100 smartphones to analyze the reality of Face Unlock. They analyzed how effective their implementations of this Face unlock method of authentication secure the devices and concluded that image is not matching. According to them, no sophisticated methods like 3D-printed heads or realistic masks were required in most of the smartphones.

The list of handsets that failed the test includes various popular branded smartphones. There was one more group of device whose face unlock was cracked with a photo. Shocking, right?

Another factor where we understood the reality of the face unlock feature is – while dealing with twins. It failed when twins handled this feature. Very easily it got bluffed by twins. So, next time if you are using face unlock feature and you have a twin sibling, then be prepared to get your smartphone hacked by your own family member.

Hence, most of the smartphone manufacturers now warn the smartphone users that face unlocking feature is not the safest method. Instead, fingerprint scanning is regarded as more reliable and sufficient except for a dedicated hacker. The Old method of pin code can also be considered safe.

Face Unlock – Good or Bad? reality of face unlock
Face Unlock – Good or Bad? Source: AndroidPit

Face Unlock – Good or Bad?

Earlier, I never thought that the face unlock feature is not good. According to me, it was a better option than fingerprints or pin codes. But the reality which I experienced was scary. Now, it is not only a ‘not good idea’ instead the reality of face unlock feature is, it is really a bad option.

The use of face unlocking without proper hardware will certainly result in low security for all the latest smartphones. Luckily, it is not the only or default authentication method. Pin codes or fingerprints are most common. Some of the manufacturers are using more secured systems like iris recognition which are really considered harder to fool.

Still, face unlock feature is a latest trend, so I wish more users smartphones to switch to it (that too if manufacturers make it more secure).

I recommend carefully checking the minute details of your phone’s face unlock method before enabling it and understand deeply the pros and cons and reality of face unlock. It must really be safe and secured and not fail on photos or masks or process your data insecurely. Fingerprint method of authentication is not magical but at this stage, it is most secured and on the other hand, pin codes can also be the best option. Through this article, I only tried to make you understand this latest technology and see the reality of the face unlock feature.

We cannot ignore the fact that technology is surely matured and still maturing day by day and is gradually settling into our lives due to its usability and in many ways has made lives easier. Artificial intelligence is not here to stay permanently but to continuously grow and conquer.

For more updates, stay connected to Inside Duniya.

Cover Raw Image by MakeTechEasier

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