Google multi-user face-to-unlock

Google has had an optional way to log into Android using your face for a while now but soon the company may be taking things even further. A new patent has been awarded to Google that allows multiple accounts on a computer device to be accessed via face recognition.

While Google’s Android OS isn’t specifically mentioned here, it’s more than likely where the technology could be heading. At the same time, Google Chrome OS could also be a target of this camera patent technology.

The idea here is very simple. In order to log in, users would simply have to show their face and the software would automatically send them to their accounts. If another family member comes up, the camera will instead send him or her to the corresponding user profile. Since more consumers are sharing tablets with their families, having an easy way to do this could prove to be very helpful.

Here’s the official, technical description for the patent:

“A method of logging a first user in to an computing device includes receiving a an image of the first user via a camera operably coupled with the computing device and determining an identity of the first user based on the received image. If the determined identity matches a predetermined identity, then, based at least on the identity of the first user matching the predetermined identity, the first user is logged in to the computing device.”

When could such a feature make its way to Android? It’s hard to say, but Jelly Bean’s successor is a likely target.

What’s even more interesting is that Apple also applied for a patent for face-to-unlock features. With Google getting this new patent, it’s hard to say what that means for Apple’s own patent claim. Could the Google multiple user Face-To-Unlock patent become a point of litigation down the road?