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Ice Cream Sandwich’s Face Unlock feature tricked by picture on Galaxy Nexus


When Samsung VP Nick DiCarlo showed off the facial recognition technology baked into Ice Cream Sandwich on Fox the other day, he presented face unlock as if it is a flagship feature of the Galaxy Nexus. He said “it’s just cool to use your face to unlock things”, but is it secure?

The guys over at Phandroid posted the video above showing a Galaxy Nexus being unlocked using an image of a person’s face on another device, proving the tech might be cool, but definitely not a passcode replacement and far from a security feature.

It’s not much of a surprise that facial recognition technology in ICS isn’t secure, but either is “slide to unlock”, and face unlock is still probably the most efficient way to unlock your device when not using a passcode. That is, if it works. As you might expect, early hands-on reviews prove the facial recognition is buggy, to say the least. It will probably prove too frustrating to use on a daily basis as your main unlock method.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.