A new app for the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS can unlock a user’s phone via voice recognition, according to a Popular Science article by Rachel Fobar. Called Trusted Voice, the system initiates when the user performs an “OK Google” voice command.
Google isn’t trying to advertise the feature as enhanced security, however. When a user initiates the system, a warning message appears on the smartphone’s screen saying, “Trusted voice is less secure than a pattern, PIN, or password. Someone with a similar voice or a recording of your voice could unlock your device.” With that in mind, the feature is clearly intended more for the user’s convenience than security, as was the case in Android Lollipop’s “Face Unlock” feature, which also was at least somewhat at risk to spoofing.
Still, the technology continues to improve, and may soon reach a level where it can effectively replace PINS on Android mobile devices. In any case, voice recognition could prove valuable in an effective multimodal system, which Android Lollipop is now in a position to develop.