Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Face Unlock Isn’t Racist, Really

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich a couple of months ago and now as more users begin to get their hands on the first Android 4.0 device, little known issues are beginning to surface with regards to the newly added features.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich face unlock issues

One of the most talked about features of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich would no doubt have to be its Face Unlock security screen. While Google had assured users that the Face Unlock technology would be able to tell the difference between a real person and a picture of the owner, it didn’t mention that it may not work as good on some users.

A recent post on Reddit by user “AGWednesday” brought to attention the possible issues Face Unlock would have with users with darker skin tones. According to the user, “the problem doesn’t just happen when there’s a lack of light and thus a lack of detail. It happens when there’s too much light too.” This is of course because when there is too much light, it is also difficult to see features clearly due to shadows that don’t play well with dark skins.

The post has since gathered over 93 comments with more darker skin users chiming and stating they are facing the same issue. We have seen this in the past with Kinect as well and unfortunately it seems to be an technology limitation of today when it comes to tracking dark skin colors in general given the way how light and sensor are designed to work. Check out the interesting Reddit thread of users complaining about Face Unlock in the Galaxy Nexus with everything from Asian skin tones to pre- and post-shaving.

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