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Conveniently Secure Smartphone Lock

The best of both worlds.
 
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Android's Face Unlock, as I've mentioned in a previous post, is pretty farcical as a means of securing a smartphone against theft. I've found that it is convenient, however, for handsfree (well OK, one-handed) operation while driving or walking through a crowd. Just press the unlock button and aim the front-facing camera at your face. You don't even have to look at it. So I can see the appeal based on the convenience factor.

What I'm proposing is a sort of two-step authentication for unlocking your smartphone without sacrificing any convenience. Here's how it works:

An increasing number of smartphone users are (or soon will be) using some sort of wearable Bluetooth accessory (Earpiece, MOTOACTV wristband, Nike Fit wristband, smartwatch, Google Glass, etc). Wearable tech is unlikely to be set down in a bar or coffee shop and walked away from because you're wearing it, and because it stays on your person AND connects to your smartphone wirelessly, it makes a convenient security authenticator.

So you pair your smartphone with one or more pieces of wearable tech, and a simple app handles the rest. The app detects when your Bluetooth accessory is connected to the smartphone, and activates the Face Unlock feature when it is connected. If the smartphone becomes disconnected from the accessory (Say, for instance, because it has moved beyond the ±30ft range) the Face Unlock feature is disabled and a normal PIN/password unlock screen is displayed instead.

21 Quest, Jun 08 2013

Now Baked https://www.google....3d_4sKfNPVVJ93agbHg
I just discovered this amazing feature on my new Moto X, and it really is as convenient as I thought it would be. Searching online, the earliest reference I can find to it is dated in August 2013, two months after I posted this idea. [21 Quest, Mar 14 2014]

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