Google Chromebook is extremely popular among users, especially among those who want an affordable and light device for casual browsing and watching online content. Google Chromebook comes with features like the ability to run Android apps and a tablet mode that can come in handy when using the device for things like presentations or as an entertainment screen. Over the past decade, Google has steadily added other features like stylus support for writing and drawing, and even fingerprint authentication. Now, a recent report claims that Google is working on an awesome feature – Human Presence Sensors (HPS). What this does is bring important features like face unlock support and more features for users.
Face unlock feature on computers is not a novel concept. Face recognition has been supported on Windows for a while now, thanks to Windows Hello, as long as you have a compatible camera. Apple macOS is yet to add support for Face ID, and it looks like Google has now joined the race, according to a report from 9to5Google.
The first hint of this feature coming in a future version of Chrome OS is from changes to the user interface on Chrome OS, which include the possibility of a new “eye” icon in the system tray. This could be used to show when Chrome OS is using the camera to visually authenticate a user.
According to the report, the open-source Chromium repositories, where Google makes changes, adds and removes Chromium code that eventually makes its way to the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, mentions the term human presence detection. Even if face unlock support does become an option with HPS support, it remains to be seen whether Google adds support for secure facial recognition on the lines of Apple Face ID or the Google Pixel 4 face unlocking. In fact, Google has not yet announced any changes or updates at this moment, so users should take this into account and wait until Google officially reveals these features.
In addition to features like face unlock support, it looks like Google could also add features like automatic locking when no presence is detected, or keeping the screen awake while you are present and turning it on for unlocking if you return. However, as the work on HPS has been going on for a couple of months now, it could be a very long while before any related features come to a Google Chromebook on a shop shelf near you, or an e-commerce website.