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Google adding eye detect to Pixel 4 in ‘coming months’ after phone found to unlock on sleeping users

Google says it will add eye-detection to the Pixel 4 ‘in the coming months’ after phone is found to unlock even when users are sleeping

  • Google will fix a facial recognition issue with the Pixel 4 ‘in the coming months’ 
  • The phone was unlocks using facial recognition without users’ eyes being open
  • Users feared it may allow the phone to be unlocked while they’re sleeping 
  • In the meantime, Google recommends activating a passcode to unlock 

Google said its fix for a controversial face recognition feature that allows the Pixel 4 to be unlocked while users’ eyes are closed will arrive ‘in the coming months.’

The company says the feature will address a problem first highlighted by the BBC that allows the phone to be unlocked using facial recognition while someone is sleeping via simply adding an option that requires ones eyes to be open.

‘We’ve been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months,’ the company wrote in a statement.  

Google’s new Pixel 4 smartphone was unveiled in New York City on this month and also features technology which allows users to control it with gestures instead of pressing buttons (File photo)

The Verge reports that an earlier versions of Google’s newest flagship mobile device may have contained an option to require one’s eyes to be open before unlocking it with a faceprint, though that option was never included in the final product.

Google’s Pixel 4 was unveiled last week and will go on sale this week on Thursday this week. 

‘Pixel 4 face unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps,’ Google said in a statement. 

‘It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks.’

Among the concerns surrounding the phone’s eyeless unlocking was that suspicious partners may scan their significant others’ face and pore through the device while they’re asleep.

While Google’s eyes-closed face unlock has caused consternation from some users, it does up the ante in other features like an infrared system that is able to read facial depth and prevent the device from being opened by a picture. 

Google says that while concerned users wait, they can activate a second set of security features that requires one to enter their pin before accessing the phone.

‘In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock,’ said Google in a statement. 


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