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Home / News / Jelly Bean’s Face Unlock feature checks you’re alive before opening its gates

Jelly Bean’s Face Unlock feature checks you’re alive before opening its gates

Google's made it even harder for your smartphone to be fooled by your mug shot, thanks to fancy new blink recognition

Google has beefed up the security in its Jelly Bean Face Unlock feature which will make it harder to fool.


The Face Unlock feature allows you to unlock your phone via the front-facing camera, and up until now it’s been possible to bypass the system with a simple photograph.

The new Face Unlock in Android Jelly Bean however has a Liveness check feature which requires you to blink to unlock your phone – something that only the photographs from the Harry Potter universe would be able to achieve.

We’d be interested to see whether or not a video of you blinking would also work, but if a would-be thief was that dedicated then we’re sure they’d find another method to access your secrets one way or another.

There’s no word yet as to whether or not Ice Cream Sandwich owners will be getting this fancy new trick, but given that it’s just a matter of a small update, we can’t see why not.

[XDA Forums via TechCrunch]


Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home