Google is reportedly found a new tool to fix the Pixel 6 smartphone’s poor fingerprint sensor performance: facial recognition. Citing “sources familiar with the matter,” 9to5Google reports that Google is preparing to launch a face-scanning system that would act as a supplement to the under-display fingerprint sensor, lowering the threshold for a successful fingerprint scan in cases where the user’s face is recognized to some degree.
Whereas the Pixel 6 could have made for a high-profile showcase of under-display fingerprint sensor technology, the sensor’s sluggish performance became the source of numerous complaints, with some critics singling it out as the device’s major flaw. The criticism prompted Google to switch to a different fingerprint sensor for the followup Pixel 6a device, and that seems to have performed better; but evidently the company hasn’t abandoned its frustrated Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro users.
That having been said, 9to5Google is circumspect about whether the unusual face-based fix will ever actually launch on a Pixel 6 device. Even if it does, the obvious question from many users will be why Google won’t just support face-based authentication itself, as a standalone biometric modality. There had been indications before the Pixel 6’s launch that Google was working on such a feature. In any case, face unlock is expected for the forthcoming Pixel 7.