Google’s Chrome OS might be getting a neat feature owners already enjoy on Windows laptops. Of course, we’re talking about “human presence detection,” which could enable facial recognition and other useful features soon, according to recent commits on the Chromium Gerritt.
The news of Google’s work on human presence sensors for Chrome OS was spotted by 9to5Google, and while it doesn’t guarantee face unlock is on the way, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Earlier this year, Google said it’s working on “utilizing our artificial intelligence technology to help people proactively, integrating sensor technologies for more personalized experiences… and working endlessly to make your devices work better together.” So while Google didn’t come right out and say it, that’s the belief based on current findings.
The report goes on to mention that the Chrome OS team is working on a project called “HPS,” short for “Human Presence Sensor,” which Windows Hello uses to recognize a user as they walk up to a machine and instantly unlock. Windows devices use these sensors to unlock quicker. This way, no passwords or fingerprint scanners are necessary to unlock a machine to the correct profile and start working.
However, these sensors supplement Windows Hello to improve the experience and make it faster and more seamless, while Chrome OS doesn’t have face unlock features of any kind. As a result, 9to5Google believes this could be the first step to not only adding face unlock to Chromebooks but instantly making it an excellent option thanks to HPS.
Additionally, these sensors could enable Chromebooks to stay on, awake, and not dim the screen while a user is sitting in front of it. Similar to the “screen attention” feature many users love on Google’s Pixel smartphones.
For now, it’s too early to know exactly what Google is planning or what features it could develop for Chrome OS with the help of human presence sensors. Either way, we’ll keep an eye out and report back as we learn more.