Turn that smile upside down: Google patent filing could lead to facial-expression 'passwords'

Thanks to cell phones and Bluetooth, there are many people walking around looking like they’re talking to themselves. And those trying out Google Glass have already received their share of ribbing. What’s next on the look-ridiculous list? Making funny faces at our gadgets.

Google has filed a patent related to unlocking screens that among other things calls for frowning at or sticking a tongue out at a phone or tablet, according to the BBC. The patent, filed last year but just recently published, would seem to improve the security of eye-tracking technology already available on some smartphones. Some researchers have demonstrated that some facial-recognition software can be fooled. The patent filing appears to be akin to two-step password authentication; it requires facial recognition combined with facial gestures to unlock a screen.

Pat May wrote for SiliconBeat recently about a report that Apple has filed for a patent for “gaze detection” technology that would allow a device to toggle between active and dimmed based on whether a user is looking at it. It would be similar to technology called “Smart Scroll,” which is found in Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

 

 Photo from Associated Press archives

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4032 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).