Wednesday, 30 November 2011


 So, as you probably know, Ice Cream Sandwich has face unlock (which can be defeated with a photograph on another phone.)

Can anyone tell me if the recognition algorithm specifically tuned to recognise faces only?

I expect so - most face recognition algorithms work by comparing distances between features on the face. However, I'd like someone to try something out...

You have seen Inception, right? (a missed opportunity - where was the Freud? Where was the Dali?)

Anyway, I did like the idea of the totem - a physical object, something unique, which only the owner would be familiar with. The idea is that nobody else could replicate the object exactly and so the owner can detect if he or she was in an artificial reality.

So, I thought, rather than use your face (which is usually in the public domain and frequently in photos and videos) as a key, would it be possible to use an object to lock and unlock the phone - like the totem in the film?

And of course you can change your totem more easily than changing your face.

Just one problem... what if you lose the totem?

ok then, how about... Dental Record Unlock?



  1. Yeah... There would be lost and forgotten tokens everywhere... The world would fall into mass hysteria with it's lack of communication... People would run around madly screaming and punching others in the face trying to steal their phones to reconnect with the world only to find that they could not unlock the phones. Buildings would start to burn as they are looted and people losing their minds begin to bite random strangers as though they were zombies eventually spreading new diseases that cannot be cured because doctors and nurses have either fled or gone mad themselves from the great panic. The world would descend into anarchy. So... No... This is a bad idea...

  2. how about a necklace with a picture of a completely unnatural face? someone could still take a picture of it or copy it, but at least it would be a smaller target and probably wouldn't be all over your facebook

  3. will it still work if you get old and look it?

  4. Losing you token wouldn't be an issue when it comes to unlocking the phone. Android 4.0 already has an alternative unlocking mechanism built in which is available if you can't unlock you phone using face unlock. If ICS can't recognize your phone, a unlock pin is requested. If all fails, you can unlock your device with your Google login. So this could actually be a pretty good idea to add. Maybe post a suggestion to the Android bugtracker.