Nexus Face Unlock FAIL

nexus_face_unlock

I recently got my hand on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for review, it’s the Google Android 4.0 Prime phone. It’s very fast, very big and very Googly. One of the main features being advertised is its facial recognition feature that unlock your phone jut by looking it. I’m sure you seen the ad of the little boy sitting in the stairs trying to unlock his Dad’s phone in order to play some Angry Birds. It’s a pretty cute ad, but it got me thinking that this kid wasn’t very ingenious with his hacking skills. Let me explain why.

The face unlock feature grabs a snap shot of your face when you set it up and then uses it and the all the expert stuff that Google learned while making its Picassa photo sharing/storing service. E face recognition on the service simply looks for match in key feature and then suggests folks that might be you. The phone works very much in the same way. Which got me thinking that I might be able to trick the phone with another picture of me. So I gripped the iPhone and took a selfie of my face. Then I simply held up one phone to the other and waited for it to do its thing. Sure enough: BOOM! The Nexus unlocked. So I tried it again with the picture of my wife and I that I keep on desk at work and BOOM! The Nexus unlocked…

Now imagine I was that little kid again and I wanted to get to my dads phone, all I would have to do is hold it up to the family Christmas or vacation picture and BOOM, I’d be chucking birds at treacherous pigs all day. Worst of all is if you have a colleague that owns this phone, all you have to do is walk by his desk, snap a candid shot while he is bragging about his snowboard sized phone and then wait for him to leave it on his desk, face unlock it with your candid pic and BOOM, the whole office will be eating free Tommies donuts on his behalf..