Future Chromebooks Will Support Facial Recognition

Here is exciting news to start your morning with. According to a recent code commit in the Chromium source code, Google is working on face detection for Chromebooks.

This is a feature that Google already supports in Android. When you think about it, it is only natural for them to bring this feature to Chromebooks too.

The Code

Here is the code commit, and the description:

intel: ipu3: Add face detection

The face detection works if set the mode
The face info could be got by method getResult().

It’s disabled currently.
Add metadata and enable it in the future.

This commit does not add the facial detection feature to any of the upcoming Chromebook boards. Instead, this talks about enabling this on “Intel HAL”. (“The HAL provides your application with a set of services, typically relying on the presence of a hardware peripheral to support the services” Source: Intel)

I also see mentions of “Intel Face Engine” in the code.  Further, the following code bit suggests that this will be implemented along with the Android Camera app, at least that’s what it looks like to me:

namespace intel {
namespace camera {
using namespace android::camera2;

The Patent

According to What a Future, Google also has a patent application for facial recognition for laptops. The date on this states March 13, 2014.

A method of logging a first user into a computing device includes receiving an image of the first user via a camera operably coupled with the computing device and determining the identity of the first user based on the received image. If the determined identity matches a predetermined identity, then, based at least on the identity of the first user matching the predetermined identity, the first user is logged in to the computing device.

Google as far as I know, has only one operating system where they can ship facial recognition for laptops, and that is Chrome OS.

Will this significantly improve Chrome OS and Chromebooks, or is it just another “I can haz” tech feature to tell the world that we can do it?

Comments? Thoughts? 

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