Google may activate facial recognition with an update

According to a few lines of code discovered by 9to5Google, Google is studying the possibility of offering facial recognition in addition to the fingerprint reader on the Pixel 6 Pro.

Pixel 6 Pro's fingerprint sensor.

Pixel 6 Pro’s fingerprint sensor. // Source: freandroid – Brandon Lopez

In recent years, most manufacturers of Android smartphones have allowed users to choose between two methods of biometric unlocking: fingerprint reader and facial recognition. However, Google has made us accustomed to offering only one solution on our smartphones. In the absence of a 3D sensor for facial recognition, the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are really limited to the fingerprint reader integrated into the screen.

However, this may soon change, as seen 9to5google, A site specializing in Android News actually searched among files from the Android 12L update, which was deployed late last week, to find several lines of text mentioning facial recognition: “A few lines of edited text in the Settings app for Android 12L beta indicate that Pixel smartphones will be able to switch from face authentication to a fingerprint reader, or both.”,

In short, it allows to choose between about three lines of code “Use facial or fingerprints”, “use face” Where “Use Fingerprints”, Furthermore, other mentions in the code for Android 12L refer to facial recognition as a simple experimental function for the Pixel 6: « com.google.pixel.experimental2021.faceAuthUseCases » And « com.google.pixel.experimental2021.face.Auth.ROIs »,

Facial recognition reserved for Pixel 6 Pro

Above all, from what has been discovered 9to5googleOf course, the two Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will not be put in the same boat in the field of facial recognition. Indeed, the file modifications seen in the code for the Android 12L beta pertain only to the Google Pixel 6 Pro and not the smaller format model. Although both smartphones benefit from similar selfie sensors – neither is equipped with 3D facial recognition – Google has chosen to develop facial recognition only on the larger model. This choice can be specifically explained by the wider angle of view of the Pixel 6 Pro’s selfie camera.

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The ability for Pixel 6 Pro users to use facial recognition to unlock their smartphones could be a lifesaver for Google. It must be said that, since their launch, the slowness of the fingerprint reader of the latest Pixels is regularly pointed out. Not only this, Google has already rolled out many updates to make things better.

It is not yet clear whether Google actually intends to offer facial recognition to Pixel 6 Pro users. Nevertheless, this is clearly a project under study by the manufacturer. In fact, it is not even known when this functionality might be introduced through a software update.


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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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