The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system Android is turning into the finishing straight these days and is getting ready for an early release. In the course of Android 12, a function will also debut that gives face unlocking an additional level.
The company from Mountain View, California, is currently developing a new accessibility function with which the unlocking of the smartphone by face is expanded to include additional gestures or, better said, expression recognition. As reported by XDA Developers, the feature called “Camera Switch” allows the mobile device to be unlocked with a facial expression.
The feature is only indirectly part of the new Android version. Because it was released together with the fourth beta of Android 12, but is actually part of the Accessibility Suite and is therefore decoupled from the operating system, at least officially. According to XDA, the new version of the app is not yet on Google Play available, but there is an APK to sideload in case you can’t wait for a release.
Face plus expression
The system can be explained relatively quickly: the front camera scans the smartphone owner’s face, but in addition to this, they must also put on a specific facial expression predefined by the user. Specifically, it is currently possible to “open your mouth”, smile, and “raise your eyebrows”, as well as looking to the left, right, or above.
It is not difficult to see why this is listed as an accessibility function: This is certainly a great relief for those who have difficulties controlling their smartphone by touch (and cannot or do not want to speak at the moment). Such control by facial expression should also represent an additional level of security for unlocking by face since you not only need the face but also have to perform a special action.
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