Blink If You're Human: Samsung Boosts Android Face Unlock Security

Samsung has tweaked Android 4.0's Face Unlock system to boost it's security credentials, addressing criticisms that the facial-recognition system can be fooled by a photograph. In a custom version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Galaxy S among other devices, Samsung added blink-recognition to Face Unlock the company has revealed.

One of the more attention-catching features of Android 4.0, Face Unlock learns the user's face and only subsequently unlocks the device if it recognizes them with the front-facing camera. However, Google quickly admitted that the lock-screen alternative was more gimmick than true biometric security, conceding that it could be fooled with a snapshot of the registered user.

Samsung's modified system, however, adds in the requirement that the user must blink while they're being observed by Face Unlock, thus going some way to prove that they are a real person rather than a still photograph.

The security is still unlikely to be foolproof, though it does make it a little less straightforward to trick into unlocking. Our own experience with Ice Cream Sandwich suggested that the system was both entertaining and frustrating in equal measure, having trouble with changed haircuts, sunglasses and different expressions.