Google’s response on this was anything but solid. They kind of
tip-toed around it when I asked, saying just that the feature
“will only get better”. Meanwhile, Google’s Tim Bray
implied that they’d
most certainly thought of that.
At long last, someone has managed to answer the question with video
proof. Turns out: Yep, photos work.
Check out the video below, courtesy of Malaysia’s SoyaCincau :
As a few folks have doubted the tester’s methods, they went on
While some of you think that it is a trick and I had set the
Galaxy Nexus up to recognise the picture, I assure you that the device
was set up to recognise my face.
Of course, this is still Beta software we’re talking
about. The Galaxy Nexus won’t ship until later this month —
so if this portrait trickery does work consistently (and this
wasn’t just a fluke), there’s no saying it’ll still
work in the final software. Third party facial unlocking systems have
done things like requiring certain facial expressions or waiting for
the user to blink — which, while not infallible, at least makes
things more complicated.
In the mean time: if you’re carrying anything sensitive on
your phone (and really, with all of the accounts we sync to our
smartphones these days, who isn’t?) it’s probably a good
idea to avoid using face unlock as anything but a neat party trick.