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3D-Printed head models can unlock Android smartphones with Facial Unlock Technology

A noticeable smartphone trend of 2018 has been facial recognition feature with most Android smartphones and even the iPhone coming with built-in facial recognition features that can unlock your device. But you would be wrong to think that the reliability and accuracy of the feature are comparable on both OS platforms.

According to a report by Forbes journalist Thomas Brewster, Android’s facial recognition system isn’t particularly hard to fool. Using a commercial, 3D printed model of his own head, Thomas Brewster was able to unlock all 4 Android phones he tested, namely an LG G7, Galaxy S9, a Note 8, and a OnePlus 6.

While some smartphone makers such as Huawei and Oppo have included proper 3D face recognition on their flagship devices, other such as OnePlus and Samsung use a simplified 2D face map which can be fooled more easily. It is not the most secure way to unlock a device, albeit being really quick. Unlocking via a PIN, pattern or fingerprint on Android devices is still the safest option.

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