Google has been awarded a patent, ‘login to a computing device based on facial recognition’, which means that only Android devices will be able to employ technology which recognises a user’s face to unlock a mobile phone.

The face-to-unlock technology uses a smartphone’s camera to identify the user. Access to the phone is then granted if the face matches one in the phone’s permitted-user list.

The feature is already available on the Samsung Galaxy S3, which has just achieved unit sales of 20 million within 100 days.

Google recently acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (£7.9 billion), partly in a bid to build its patent portfolio. The company could be attempting to guard itself from lawsuits from Apple or Samsung.

These two technology giants have been accusing each other of copyright infringement, with the iPhone manufacturer being compensated with $1.05 billion (£665 million) by the South Korean company recently.

Although Apple has mostly been successful so far, it has been ‘hoarding’ Long Term Evolution patents in the last year, according to reports, possibly in preparation for a backlash.

Posted by Samantha Green

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