Could the Pixel 7 sign the great return of Face Unlock facial recognition? According to a leak, Google is indeed still working on its biometric technology.
facial recognition Face Unlock could make a comeback on smartphones in the Pixel range. According to the latest information obtained by our colleagues from 9to5Google, Google is still working on facial recognition in anticipation of future Pixels. All eyes are obviously on the Pixel 7, the brand’s future generation of premium phones.
For memory, Face Unlock appeared on Pixel 4 in 2019. During our test of the Pixel 4, we found the smartphone’s facial recognition to be very effective. It only takes a few seconds to unlock the touch screen and access the Android interface.
In order to reduce the production costs of its devices, Google has ignored this technology on the Pixel 5. By cutting back on certain functions, the brand has pulled the price of the phone down to make it more competitive. Despite their more upscale approach, the Pixel 6 are also deprived of Face Unlock. On its latest flagships, the brand slips for the first time against a fingerprint reader under the screen.
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Why Google didn’t add facial recognition to the Pixel 6 Pro
The 9to5Google article also goes back to the reasons that led Google to do not integrate Face Unlock on Pixel 6. A plethora of rumors has however suggested that facial recognition will eventually land on the smartphone. A leaked promotional image and Play Store page even confirmed the feature’s return shortly before launch.
According to several sources familiar with the matter, Google intended to integrate facial recognition only on the Pixel 6 Pro. The smartphone has a dual front photo sensor with autofocus, unlike the standard edition. From a hardware perspective, the device is fully compatible with Face Unlock. To work without the Pixel 4’s Soli radar, Face Unlock, however, had to rely on the performance of the Tensor processor in terms of artificial intelligence, the strong point of the in-house chip developed by Google.
Shortly before the launch in autumn 2021, the Mountain View firm changed its mind. The option was however operational, reveals 9to5Google. According to the media, Google was afraid that face recognition was not precise enough. Engineers were also concerned that Face Unlock would cut corners on battery life of the smartphone.
Long after the phones arrived on the market, several leaks suggested that Google was planning to add facial recognition through an update. The option appeared in particular in the code of a beta version of Android 12 reserved for pixels. The lines were indeed referring to the ability to use his ” face or fingerprint” to unlock the terminal.
Face Unlock back soon?
Considering the fingerprint sensor under the screen too slow and not very effective, many users even asked Google to add another biometric unlocking method. The fingerprint sensor has indeed accumulated bugs in the months following the arrival of Pixel 6 in stores. Despite the customer complaints, It did not happen. The firm was content to correct the fingerprint reader through several updates. To justify the slowness of the sensor, Google mentioned the presence ” improved security algorithms »who ” may take longer to verify or require more direct contact” with the finger.
If the information from 9to5Google is confirmed, Google has not buried its facial recognition technology. There is still hope that the option will be integrated into the Pixel 7. Note also that the new Tensor chip which will power the smartphones will be less energy intensive. This reduction in consumption could convince Google to give its face recognition technology a chance. The chip would also improve in the field of artificial intelligence, which should also play in favor of the return of Face Unlock.
The Pixel 7 announcement is not expected before the fall. If Google sticks to its launch schedule, the presentation of smartphones should take place during the month of October 2022. Available in two models, the phones will largely take over the design of the Pixel 6. At the same time, Google should unveil its first Pixel Watch, the connected watch long awaited by fans.