Galaxy S10 5G reportedly gets 3D face unlock with Android 10
The front-facing 3D depth camera on the Galaxy S10 5G may finally be put to use for 3D face unlocking. Unlike the Galaxy S10+, the Galaxy S10 5G’s second front-facing camera is not a regular depth camera – it is a ToF (time-of-flight) sensor. A ToF camera emits an infrared light signal and measures the time it takes for the signal to return after hitting an object, enabling more accurate depth-mapping, and it can be used for advanced face recognition similar to Apple’s Face ID.
Face recognition using ToF sensors is available on quite a few Chinese smartphones, but the Galaxy S10 5G’s front-facing ToF camera only works to enable more advanced bokeh in photos and videos. According to one Galaxy S10 5G owner from Korea, that has changed on the Android 10 beta for the device. The S10 5G is apparently using both the ToF camera and the regular front-facing camera for facial recognition on Android 10. The ToF camera lights up when face recognition is active, and covering either the regular camera or the ToF camera stops face recognition from working.
Considering Samsung has also improved face recognition on Android 10 in general (like adding an option for users to add an alternative look), it’s not surprising that the Galaxy S10 5G is getting more advanced face recognition that takes advantage of its extra hardware. However, it’s unclear if the ToF camera is actually being used to its full potential. Since it uses infrared light, it should also work well in a dark room unlike face recognition with a regular camera, but we don’t know if that is the case on the Galaxy S10 5G. We guess we’ll have to wait for the stable Android 10 update for the S10 5G to find out, as the beta is only available in South Korea.
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To translate, the S10 5G got Pixel 4/Mate 20 Pro/Mate 30 Pro/iPhone 11 style 3D face unlock with the Android 10 update. The TOF sensor was there, but Samsung was never using it for face unlock. https://t.co/a5l3kDNHYJ
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) November 8, 2019