Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 3D facial recognition fooled by two similar looking people


The 3D facial recognition system of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has been deceived by the faces of two of our colleagues from AndroidPit, who share some features of resemblance. Presented as an alternative as secure as Apple’s Face ID, is Huawei’s technology really up to date?

As the picture above shows, the two men have a certain resemblance: they are bearded, have short hair, a rounded face and almond eyes. They are not twins, says the journalist, referring to the face ID of the iPhone X, fooled by two twin brothers.

Is 3D facial recognition of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro less secure than Apple’s Face ID?

Similarly, it is not a passing bug. To make sure, our colleague even deleted his profile of the facial recognition application. He then reconfigured his face from A to Z. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro always unlocks when it sees the face of his colleague. Moreover, the smartphone works without any problem, says the reporter.

As a reminder, this kind of problem is common with 2D face recognition systems. Fully software, they are based on general physical characteristics. In these conditions, some users managed to trick the Face Unlock of the OnePlus 6 with a simple photo. Same story on Samsung smartphones. The facial recognition of the Galaxy Note 8 can be deceived by a selfie displayed on the screen of another smartphone. Manufacturers also readily recognize that 2D face recognition is not as secure as a fingerprint sensor. It is not possible to use it to make a purchase.

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A 3D facial recognition system, like the Mate 20 Pro, the Oppo Find X or iPhone XS, is more secure. To scan your face, 3D sensors compare thousands of recognition points in a thousandth of a second. To work, the Mate 20 Pro’s sensors compare 30,000 points on the face, like the iPhone X and XS. That’s more than Oppo Find X’s O-Face technology , which scans only 15,000 points of the face. In theory, Huawei’s technology is similar to that of Apple.

It should be remembered that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is not yet released on the market. By October 26, 2018, the Chinese manufacturer still has time to deploy software updates to fill the various bugs encountered by the testers. Likewise, it is only an isolated case. 3D sensors could for example suffer from a manufacturing defect. We’ll know more when Huawei release the phone officially. To conclude, it will be recalled that the smartphone is also equipped with a fingerprint sensor under the screen. Is this proof that 3D facial recognition is not enough on its own?

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2 Comments

  1. William Barr
    October 19, 2018

    To be fair the IPhone X was fooled by a woman’s son with the same shape of mouth and nose…….but he was like 10 or round about that age, and despite this tech being like Austin Powers “Frickin Lazer beams..” sharks doctor evil craved you can’t go from a full beard to clean shaven as it won’t work because of the mapping difference, it’s all crap to be honest really.

    • Rui Nelson Carneiro
      October 20, 2018

      Here is why you are wrong.

      Apple’s FaceID is designed to learn a user’s face every time it fails, and the user has to input the manual password or PIN code.

      In those cases, the woman gave the phone to her kid to play, and since FaceID only recognised one person (now two in the latest OS version), the mother gave her PIN code to her son.

      What happened it was that FaceID “learned” the kid’s face over time, wrongly “correcting” it’s internal model of the mother’s face. Completely normal. In real world cases, this is confirmed to not happen.

      Everyone knows that, stop trying to spread misinformation.