Android Lollipop’s ‘on-body detection’ smartlock seems slightly useful

While reducing bulk may be one of Android Lollipop‘s objectives, Google is adding features to the latest version of Android that’s finally making it onto devices. The new on-body detection is a form of lock mode that allows the phone to sense its surroundings and react accordingly. Does it sound cool? Yes indeed. Is it any more useful than longer battery life? No.

Essentially, the system uses the phone’s built in accelerometer to detect whether or not the device is on your person or in your hand. While the device is moving (sensing subtle movements of your body), it will remain unlocked. If you were to hand said phone to another person too, it will remain unlocked as well.

This feature sounds brilliant when passing the phone around for others to glance through, but consider the additional implications.

The reason why many have a passcode on their devices is to prevent others from accessing it, but for those with cruel intentions accessing the device might be a lot easier with this system enabled. One saving grace is that the system features a “Trusted Places” section, that allows you to control where and when the phone remains locked.

It’s perhaps a better, more convenient system than a fingerprint lock, an LG-like Knock Code or a swipe pattern, especially if you’re using the phone or tablet indoors or with one hand. According to TechCrunch, the system also uses the camera, Bluetooth and GPS, so will this system be a massive drain on the battery?

For now, it seems that the on-body detection feature has been spotted only on the Nexus 4 running Android 5.0.1, but once other devices gain the update, we should see it become a more widespread feature.

Read the full, more granular story at Android Police.

What do you think of the idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Feature image: Kal Hendry via Flickr



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