If you stayed-up late to watch the streaming coverage of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus unveiling in Hong Kong last month, you might remember the issues that came up when attempting to demonstrate the face-recognition phone unlock capability of Ice Cream Sandwich. When we first broached the topic of the feature, after the discovery of an APK called FaceLock in a supposed ICS dump, some of you wondered in the comments how reliable this kind of thing would be, as well as how prone to defeat by using a photograph as a stand-in for the face of an authorized user. A recent hands-on video of the Galaxy Nexus gives us a chance to see more of the feature in action, and how it holds up to just such an attack.
While we can’t see it in the video, the filmer affirms that he configured Ice Cream Sandwich to unlock using his actual face, rather than a photograph. He then attempts a face-unlock by holding the screen of a Galaxy Note up to the Galaxy Nexus, displaying a still image of his face; the phone unlocks without faltering.
Sure, there are steps Google could take to make things more secure; something as simple as prompting the user to open and close his or her mouth, or turn to one side, would go a long way towards stopping the use of stand-in photos. We’re also curious to see how good the system is at rejecting similar faces, but that will have to wait for another day. Ultimately, you’ll probably be safer using a traditional PIN-based unlock until this technology matures a little more.
Source: soyacincautv (YouTube)