Since its debut on Face ID in 2017, Apple has been way above the competition in terms of facial recognition technology. But while Android phones have tried to keep up, new research suggests that their own version of the technology falls short.
Android Face Recognition Not Mission Impossible Worthy?
In a test conducted by Forbes, the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S9, the LG G7 ThinQ and the OnePlus 6 could be unlocked using a 3D printed head (something scary). This was in stark contrast to the iPhone X, whose Face ID technology was not fooled by the false head.
This could be due to differences in the type of technology used to implement facial recognition security between different brands.
While Face ID on the iPhone X; iPhone XR and iPhone XS use a series of sensors to identify the userAndroid phones tend to rely on the selfie camera, which appears to be much less secure.
“This was in stark contrast to the iPhone X; whose Face ID technology was not fooled by the false head “
Some of the Android phones fared better than others in the tests; Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9 use iris recognition, which was not fooled by the 3D printed head.
The worst offender was the OnePlus 6; which Forbes found unlocked almost instantly every time it was featured with the head model.
“While Face ID on the iPhone X, iPhone XR and iPhone XS use a series of sensors to identify the user; Android phones tend to rely on the selfie camera. “
So what does this mean for consumers?
Well, what has become clear is that Android’s facial recognition technology is designed for convenience rather than robust security.
And while no one expects criminals to start loading 3D heads to try and gain access to your smartphone; it seems that even showing a picture of the user is enough to trick some Android phones into unlocking them.
Therefore; if you really want to keep your phone safe and you like the convenience of simply using your face to unlock it; it may be worth spending the extra money on one of the newer iPhone models.
Let’s remember that in 2017; Annual shipments of Android devices equipped with 3D sensing components were expected to outnumber those with under-screen optical recognition two to three times in the next two to three years.
“3D detection not only allows facial recognition in security applications; and allows users to create funny expressions like Apple’s Animoji; at a more important level, it is a key factor in the development of AR, ”Kuo wrote. “Therefore, we believe that brand suppliers are willing to spend more on related components.”