Starting with Motion Sense, the feature uses the Pixel 4’s onboard Soli motion-sensing radar. With the wave of your hand, you can skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence incoming phone calls. Google hinted at additional features with future updates, with Motion Sense available “in select Pixel countries.’
As for Face Unlock, the feature also uses Soli to turn on the face unlock sensors. The Pixel 4 supposedly opens as you pick it up, so long as the sensors and algorithms recognize you. The Pixel 4 features seven front sensors, including two face unlock IR cameras, a dot projector, a flood illuminator, the front-facing camera, an ambient light and proximity sensor, and the Soli radar chip.
According to Google, Face Unlock works in almost any orientation. You can also use it to authenticate payments and authenticate apps, such as banking apps.
To help with Face Unlock’s accuracy, Google confirmed with The Verge it has been conducting “field research” to collect face-scanning data. The goal is to make sure Face Unlock works a diverse set of faces. Google also confirmed it has been approaching people on the streets, offering $5 gift certificates in exchange for affirmative consent to a facial scan.
Google will keep each participant’s face data for 18 months. The company will never associate the data with a Google ID, with each face sample “encrypted and access restricted.” More importantly, participants can request to have their face data deleted.
Finally, Google talked up the security of Motion Sense and Face Unlock. The Pixel 4’s Soli sensor data and facial recognition tech are processed on the device, with the data “never saved or shared with other Google services.” Also, all of your facial data is stored in the Pixel 4’s Titan M security chip.