Unlocking your smartphone with your face is the next big thing. Or, at least, it feels like it. Apple’s iPhone X$999.00 at Verizon Wireless took all the headlines with Face ID, and other devices like OnePlus’ 5T have also incorporated a Face Unlock feature of their own.
For those on older smartphones, it can be a little annoying to watch everyone stare at their shiny new gadgets to unlock them. That’s especially true if you own the original OnePlus 5 smartphone—which came out all of five months before the OnePlus 5T$499.00 at OnePlus and lacks the latter’s Face Unlock feature. But your buyer’s remorse won’t last much longer, as Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, has officially announced that the OnePlus 5 will receive a Face Unlock update.
“Due to popular demand, Face Unlock is coming for the OnePlus 5. Thanks for the feedback, and merry Christmas,” he tweeted yesterday.
Pei hasn’t provided any additional details in any follow-up tweets, so we don’t have a timeline for when the OnePlus 5$479.00 at OnePlus might get Face Unlock. We speculate it will arrive in the next few weeks, rather than months, or else Pei’s tweet is more a holiday tease than a real present for OnePlus 5 owners.
And though OnePlus’ Face Unlock is convenient, it’s likely not as secure as what you’d find on Apple’s iPhone X. The former basically analyzes the images taken from a standard front-facing camera, a speedy approach, albeit one that’s entirely based on software. Apple’s technique, a bit more secure, uses an infrared depth-mapping camera to authenticate a person’s noggin’.
“To try to trick Face Unlock, someone might use a selfie on another phone and place this selfie in front of the OnePlus 5T in an effort to unlock it. Even though in real life you can argue that the risks of someone having physical access to your phone as well as a detailed enough selfie are low, we are always working to optimize Face Unlock,” reads OnePlus‘ post.
“In an upcoming update, the phone will understand whether the subject is emitting light (a phone) versus reflecting (your actual face) by analyzing shadows and bright areas. Other current checks related to this particular scenario is to look for screen reflections, the presence of a square element (shape of the phone) and more. We are dedicated to constantly optimizing Face Unlock, much like we do with OxygenOS as a whole, and this is but one example.”