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Face recognition might be coming to Chrome OS soon

Unlocking your Chromebook is about to get much easier.

Published onAugust 29, 2018

Google Pixelbook
  • Chromebooks currently don’t offer any means to be unlocked using biometrics.
  • A new code commit in Chromium hints that facial recognition might be implemented soon.
  • Unfortunately, only future Chromebooks will support this as it requires specialized hardware

When Chromebook owners want to log into their computers, they have to initially unlock the device using their Google account password. While they can then use a PIN until they restart the machine, the entire process is a bit inconvenient and dated especially compared to logging into smartphones.

Thankfully, according to a new code commit in Chromium, it looks like Google is working to add facial recognition to Chrome OS (via Chrome Story).

You can read the entire commit here, but you can find the key details below.

intel: ipu3:

Add face detection
The face detection works if set the mode to FD_MODE_FULL.

The face info could be got by method getResult().
It’s disabled currently. Add metadata and enable it in the future.

Unfortunately, it looks like Chromebooks will need specialized hardware to make this feature work. The process will likely be similar to using RealSense cameras found on numerous Windows laptops. Additionally, there’s a good chance that Intel’s Face Engine will power this feature as it’s mentioned numerous times throughout the commit.

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While there is no evidence of new biometric security measures being added to any Chromebooks currently in development, it would be nice to see Google include this feature in its second-gen Pixelbook which is rumored to be announced later this fall.

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