Beware! Samsung Galaxy S8's facial recognition feature can be bypassed with a photo [VIDEO]

Kukil Bora

Samsung doesn't want you to remember any password or PIN to unlock the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. While the old-fashioned PINs will still be there, the new flagship smartphones from the South Korean tech giant will have three more ways to autheticate your device, including a fingerprint sensor, an iris scanner and a face scanner.

Samsung said that the biometric technologies incorporated in the new Galaxy phones have brought strengthened security features as well as enhanced convenience to the devices. In case of the new facial unlocking feature, Samsung said that the technology utilises "an immense amount of data" to recognise even the smallest differences in people's faces.

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"When a user opts to access their Galaxy S8 using facial recognition verification, the smartphone detects, aligns, extracts and compares facial landmark points such as the width of the user's nose or the distance between their eyes to stored data to grant or deny access. As the user continues to utilize the feature more and more, the phone gets better at recognizing them, despite small changes in the angle or position of their face during the verification process," Samsung said, to convince users how secure this facial recognition would be.

That was a well-made attempt indeed. But can the feature be fooled into unlocking a Galaxy S8 in the absense of its owner?

If a new video that surfaced online on Wednesday is to be believed, the facial recognition feature on the Galaxy S8 can be bypassed by simply holding a photograph at the device. The video shows how another phone with a photograph of the person who secured the Galaxy S8 is used to unlock it.

There could be a couple of possibilities here:

First, the phone was unlocked because the photo was taken at the same angle or distance as a person would normally appear in front of the phone to autheticate it. But should that be considered as an excuse? Defintiely not.

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Second, the faceial recongnition feature could still be in a demo state, and Samsung might fix all these flaws before the Galaxy S8 hits stores on April 21. But why did the company go gaga about a new features which is not yet full-proof?

All these questions will likely be answered once the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ go on sale in a few weeks.

Samsung is depending a lot on the success of this duo to help it overcome the Galaxy Note7 debacle, which is still haunting the company. While Koh Dong-jin, Samsung's mobile chief, expects the Galaxy S8 to outsell the Galaxy S7, some industry analysts have predicted that as many as 53 million units of the new handset could be sold this year, compared to over 50 million S7s sold in 2016.

The game is about to begin. So, lets wait and watch.

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