Google Patents Multi-User Facial Recognition, Hopefully for Android

By Gary Cutlack on at

One of the things a lot of people would like to see added in Android is simple support for multiple user accounts, so you can let a child play Angry Birds for nine hours without worrying about it accidentally emailing work or sharing the wrong photograph to Facebook. Hopefully, a new Google patent means that'll soon happen.

The listing filed with the US Patent Office shows a system that lets a facial recognition tool distinguish between multiple faces, then accesses the appropriate settings for that person. Google's Android face unlock feature can already add multiple versions of your own face, but this patent is new in that it associates different people with different accounts.

There's no mention in the patent of any specific hardware that'd use this concept, be it a mobile phone or static computer, but seeing as Android's already gone quite a way down the mugshot-recognising route anyway, this is surely a possible Lemon Drizzle Cake or Meringue feature of a future version of its mobile OS?

[Engadget -- Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]