Google calls it the “Human Presence Sensor”
In a blog post where Google had celebrated their 10 years of Chromebooks, they have teased an upcoming technological feature concerning biometrics called “Human Presence Sensor” which could mean that face unlock is soon going to be a feature for Chromebooks.
We’re continuing to find ways to make the Chromebook experience even more helpful for everyone. Examples include things like utilizing our artificial intelligence technology to help people proactively, integrating sensor technologies for more personalized experiences, expanding our portfolio of devices with cellular connectivity and working endlessly to make your devices work better together. Google said in a blog post.
Human Presence detection isn’t a new thing though for laptops as some Windows laptops already have this feature, so Google, being the competitor they are, also wants to develop their own HPS. This HPS complements Windows Hello, which is Microsoft’s own biometrics system, particularly, fingerprint sensors.
If a Chromebook does have HPS, then there will be an icon supporting it, an eye-shaped icon that is located on the system tray. HPS is currently in development and may not show up until later in the year.
There are a few possibilities for laptops with HPS. One example is that laptops will automatically sleep if there is no Human presence detected after a certain amount of time, regardless if you set your laptop to sleep in this period of time in the Settings. Conversely, the screen would not be off so as long the HPS detects you are there, and this prevents dimming of the laptop too.
Google is using specialised hardware to make sure this HPS system works, in particular the CrossLink NX LIFCL-17 FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor. The HPS will be using the Chromebook’s camera to detect human presence.