Blink if You Want to Use Your Smartphone

What if your smartphone knew you by face and unlocked upon recognition of your authorized visage? Sounds like some amazing technology from Minority Report, right?

If fun was the main goal of Google’s Android’s Face Unlock feature, then it succeeded. Users have taken to the technology enthusiastically. But there’s one problem: It’s easy to fake your way into the phone by using a photo of the authorized user’s face.

What to do? Samsung, one of the biggest Android device manufacturers, came up with a twist to help the smartphone verify that the face it’s looking at is an actual living, breathing face instead of a static digital image: It requires users to blink.

TechnoBuffalo reports on this and other new developments by Samsung for its Android phones:

Included in the firmware upgrade is the ‘Face Unlock’ feature found in the ICS upgrade. In response to security issues raised regarding Face Unlock, Samsung incorporated blinking for added security. Also included is ‘Photo Editor’, ‘Beta Font’ function for font size control, and ‘Snapshot’ which allows you to take photos while recording video.

Simple but magical. While Android’s Face Unlock feature probably isn’t the most reliable form of biometric technology, blinking at least rules out fraud by photograph.