Evidence hints at facial recognition coming to Chrome OS

Aug 30, 2018 08:45 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 

Chromebooks are improving at a rather fast pace and Chrome OS itself is getting new features regularly, especially as Google seems to be more committed to this side of its product portfolio.

In addition to Android app support, which is one of the key features being rolled out to Chromebooks, Google appears to be working on another major update that may be part of the next-generation devices.

Signs of facial recognition has been discovered in Chrome OS, technically allowing owners to unlock their Chromebooks by simply having their faces scanned when opening the devices.

Similar features already exist on Windows 10 and known as Windows Hello, and special hardware is required. This is very likely to be the case on Chromebooks as well, as a new generation of devices is probably necessary to make facial recognition a feature on Google’s platforms.

Dedicated hardware needed

The front-facing camera can’t provide secure authentication, and by adding more advanced cameras for facial recognition, there’s a good chance Chromebooks would also get a little bit more expensive.

At this point, Chromebook owners can only unlock their devices with a PIN, so adding facial recognition would help these devices score extra in terms of convenience, making authentication substantially faster and easier.

Facial recognition is gradually becoming a priority for more and more device manufacturers, and Microsoft itself has been betting big on such capabilities with its Surface line of products. All new Surface models feature Windows Hello capabilities to log into Windows 10 by having users’ faces scanned, and other manufacturers have followed in its footsteps with similar functionality.

Furthermore, facial recognition is also expanding in the mobile market, though at this point Apple is the only big manufacturer using 3D sensing camera for this feature. Samsung, Google, and other companies instead rely on the front-facing camera for face unlocking.

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