One of the key features of the Google Pixel 4 is that it adds a new, secure face unlocking feature instead of a fingerprint sensor. Only it appears that & # 39; safe & # 39; A relative term is because the phone is unlocked even when your eyes are closed. Google has given us a statement promising that it will release a software update that solves that problem, but unfortunately the timeline for it is longer than users might like. Google says "it" has been working on an option for users to demand that their eyes be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. "
The Pixel 4 faces unlock feature is very similar to the iPhone system, using infrared projectors and cameras to create and read an accurate depth map of your face. That makes it safer than other RGB camera & # 39; s solutions – it can't be misled with a photo or video on a flat screen.
However, Apple's FaceID system requires attention – in the form that your eyes are open and look at the screen. Users can disable this feature if desired.
Google had said before: "We have nothing specific to say about future features or timing, but like most of our products, this feature is designed to get better with future software updates over time." It seems that he is now willing to commit to deliver them.
There have been leaks from a & # 39; Require eyes to be open & # 39; at the Pixel 4 face unlocking settings, but this is not present on the phones that Google has shown at the event and will not be present on shipping phones this week either.
Google emphasizes in its statement that, despite the fact that it works with your eyes closed, it believes that "Pixel 4 face unlock meets security requirements as a strong biometric and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps . It can withstand invalid unlocking attempts by other means, such as with masks. "
The Pixel 4 can see if you look at it in a different context. It has a "screen attention" feature that prevents the screen from turning off when you look at it. Now Google has to make it work for unlocking the phone.
Unfortunately for Google, this is not the first drama due to the feature for unlocking faces. Prior to the release, Google was forced to admit that contractors who had hired it to collect data to improve the unlocking of faces on a wide variety of faces had hit homeless people. Google has suspended the program to investigate.
For people who buy the Pixel 4, Google again points out that "if Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone might grab their phone and try to unlock it with their eyes closed, activate a security function which requires a pin code, pattern or password for the next unlock. "That function is the" lockdown "option that appears when you hold down the on / off button.
Here is the full statement from Google:
We have been working on an option for users to require that their eyes be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, Pixel 4 users can be concerned that someone can grab their phone and try to unlock it with their eyes closed, activate a security function that requires a pin code, pattern or password for the next unlock. Pixel 4 face unlock meets security requirements as a strong biometric and can be used for payments and app authentication, including bank apps. It can withstand invalid unlocking attempts by other means, such as with masks.