Google’s new Android Lollipop operating system for mobile devices now uses vastly improved facial recognition technology, writes Ryan Whitwam in an article for Android Police. The biometric technology is now used to unlock whatever mobile device the OS is running on.
When ‘trusted face mode’ is enabled on a smartphone running the Lollipop OS, the phone scans the user’s face, and subsequently attempts to recognize it anytime the phone is ‘awake’. The facial recognition protocol kicks in automatically – no input is required from the user – so that when a user picks up the phone, if the technology has recognized her, it will forego the usual request for a PIN and simply allow the user to swipe on the screen to start using the phone.
Emerging at a time when fingerprint scanners are starting to become standard on both high-end and lower-end smartphones, this technology seems destined to be a tertiary security protocol – it’s an added layer of security and by no means a PIN replacement. More than anything, it provides extra convenience: Users no longer need to enter a PIN or a pattern every time they want to use their phones.