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Google Receives Patent for Facial Recognition To Unlock Phone

Let’s keep this short because all this is is another in the long line of patent announcements that are making people wonder if patents are simply a way to hinder progress rather than promote innovation.

Google has been awarded the patent for a face-to-unlock feature on a smartphone. cnet reports

The search giant yesterday was awarded a patent, called “Login to a computing device based on facial recognition,” that describes a technology for identifying a person’s face and delivering to that person full access to personal information on a device.

In order for the technology to work, Google’s patent requires a camera that can identify a person’s face. If that face matches a “predetermined identity,” then the person is logged into the respective device.

The marketing implications for this? Not sure of the direct impact but anything that impacts an end users’ ability to access their smartphone can impact a marketer. It’s that simple.

As many already know this feature already exists on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Nexus. Interestingly enough Apple is right behind Google in line at the patent office for a similar offering. I hope they don’t get it. Personally I am getting a bit sick of Apple’s increasing stranglehold on many areas of the online space. They are acting more like people claim Google acts than Google does itself (I’m entirely sure that made sense but just go with it).

Apple last year filed for a patent related to facial recognition similar to what Google is describing in its own service. That technology would recognize a person’s face and use that as the authentication needed to access user profiles or other important information.

If you haven’t seen it this is how this works on the Nexus device