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Google Facial Password Patent Aims to Boost Android Security

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A child making faces for the camera.

A patent recently filed by Google could require one to make faces to authenticate to the Face Unlock facility that one is actually an authorized user.

Credit: Thinkstock

Google recently filed a patent suggesting users stick out their tongue or wrinkle their nose in place of a password, as requiring specific gestures could prevent the existing Face Unlock facility from being fooled by photos.

The patent application suggests the software could track a facial landmark to confirm a user not only looks like the device's owner but also carries out the right action. Examples of the requests that might be made include a frown, a tongue protrusion, an open-mouth smile, a forehead wrinkle, or an eyebrow movement.

The check would work by comparing two images taken from a captured video stream of the user's face to see if the difference between them showed the gesture had been made. There also are several ways the software could check that the device was being shown a real person's face rather than altered photos, such as studying other frames from the captured video steam to check that the user had made a sequence of movements to achieve the commanded gesture.

The software also could monitor if there were changes in the angle of the person's face to ensure the device was not being shown a still image with a fake gesture animated on top.

From BBC News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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