We’re eagerly awaiting the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 here in South Africa (come on 5 May) but before we get there, the handset seems to have some facial recognition issues at present.
Specifically, reports have surfaced claiming that the Samsung S8’s facial recognition function, which is able to learn a user’s face an unlock when they’re nearby, can be defeated by using a photograph of the user instead of an actual face. Not such a great outcome if you’re hoping to keep your smartphone locked and since there’s also a video involved…
If you catch the video below, you can see what appears to be the Galaxy S8 facial recognition being fooled by a photograph.
While we’ve spent some time with the handset, we haven’t had enough of a fiddle to extensively test the face-tracking unlock process yet but you can bet it will be a feature of our full review.
It has been speculated that Samsung might have had an incomplete version of their facial-scanning tech running on the preview handsets so we’re going to want to get our mitts on the final product to be certain. It is possible that this error could be corrected with an update or perhaps there is some trial and error involved while the handset learns the user’s face. We were told that the S8 would learn to recognise the user over time, so perhaps a few minutes of ‘learning’ isn’t enough time to lock in a secure authentication.
As security issues go having facial recognition that can be bypassed by a photograph isn’t the best thing that could have happened to Samsung. But… when the device in question allows for fingerprint access, PIN access, a swipe code, or iris scanning as alternatives, it’s also not the end of the world. Either way, we’ll be probing for this when our review lands in the next few weeks.