Google’s newest Pixel smartphone, the Pixel 8, has been unveiled, and features “Class 3” facial recognition technology, according to the tech giant’s classification system.
That’s a considerable improvement over the Pixel 7’s “Class 1” technology, which was too weak to be used to authorize app logins or payments, and could essentially just be used for unlocking the phone. Class 3, previously called “Strong” by Google (compared to Class 1’s former designation as “Convenience”) will enable such functionality, and arrives at a time of growing adoption of the passkey concept, which locks cryptographic login codes behind a given device’s biometric authentication systems (or a PIN).
While the Pixel 8 doesn’t use the sophisticated 3D imaging featured in the Pixel 4, Google says its latest facial recognition tech was enhanced using Machine Learning and AI. The latter technologies appear to have delivered Google a means of integrating sophisticated facial recognition tech into its flagship smartphones without a high cost — cost having presumably been a key factor in Google’s decision to ditch 3D face scanning and focus on fingerprint recognition.
It’s a decision that Google’s Pixel team may have come to regret in recent years. While the Pixel 6 smartphone’s use of an in-display fingerprint sensor struck many as a novel feature in 2021, its unreliable scanning turned into something of a fiasco, with many customers calling for a return to face scanning as the primary mode of authentication.
The Pixel 8 became available for preorder today, and is expected to reach users’ hands on October 11.
Source: Android Authority
October 4, 2023 – by Alex Perala