Pixel 4: Google to fix face unlock disaster with eye detection 'in the coming months'

Google released a statement saying that it would roll out a future update to fix the face unlock feature that did not require users to keep their eyes open to access their devices.

Google Pixel 4
Google unveiled its flagship fourth-generation Pixel devices; Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL at a hardware event in New York on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Google/Twitter

Days after users pointed out a major security flaw with the Pixel 4's Face Unlock feature, Google has decided to roll out an update to fix it.

As previously reported last week, users found that the Face Unlock feature on Google's Pixel 4 devices worked even with their eyes closed. This posed as a major security risk as the flagship device's inability to detect the user's eyes would make it incredibly easy for one to unlock a sleeping person's phone, access personal information, or even approve payments, without any physical contact.

Google has now issued a statement promising users that it would fix this issue by rolling out a new software update for the face unlock feature that requires eye detection. However, the search giant revealed that the update will only be available "in the coming months."

"We've been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months," the company said in a statement obtained by The Verge.

"In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock," it added.

Given the quoted timeline, it is far from likely that the Pixel 4 will include the new eye detection feature when it ships later this week, and will most likely miss the November security patch as well. Users can only hope that the update is rolled out in time for the December fix.

Instead of opting for the traditional fingerprint sensor, Google decided to go with a facial recognition system for its flagship devices. At the time of its launch, Google hyped the Pixel 4's fast face unlock capabilities by including "Motion Sense," which activates the sensor as soon as the device is picked up and prepares the device to scan the user's face before it's even in the camera's line of sight.

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