Body detection security features could be coming to a Chromebook (opens in new tab) near to you.
ONE newly discovered page in Chromium Gerrit (opens in new tab) website reveals that body detection features are being worked on for a Chromebook laptop codenamed “Crota”. Gerrit is a collaboration tool for software developers to come in and review each other’s work, and in this case Google’s Chromium projects.
Google has expressed interest (opens in new tab) in the past, “integrated sensor technologies for more personalized experiences” and body detection could be the fruits of that work.
Not much is known about how Google plans to implement this security feature or how robust it will be. We’ve reached out to Google to see if they’d like to comment on this project or provide information about it, and we’ll update this post if it responds. However, we can look at other examples of body detection and paint a picture of what Google might be doing.
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Body detection, which is sometimes called human presence detection, is a feature that allows a device to see if a person is right in front of it. You can see a demonstration of this technology at YouTube by Lattice Semiconductor (opens in new tab). It shows a computer detecting several men in front of its camera.
This technology is mainly used for security or quick logins via facial recognition. For example, Lenovo has body detection on several of its laptops, such as the ThinkPad X1 Nano where it will lock the computer if the user walks or moves away from the screen. Some sporty ThinkPad models PrivacyGuard (opens in new tab) which notifies you if someone is peeking over your shoulder and looking at your screen.
For quick logins, body detection already exists in the form of biometric security. Many phones have fingerprint recognition readers on the back. And there are laptops out there, like the Surface Pro 8, which support facial recognition through Windows Hello. Not only that, Chromebooks with Face Unlock were provoked for about three years.
It is also worth mentioning that the specialized website Chrome without box (opens in new tab) reported in the past that Google is also working to add “spying detection” to Chrome OS.
Further details on the “Crota” hardware are unknown. No one knows who the maker will be, but it could be Taiwanese electronics maker Wistron. You can see evidence of this if you look at the Gerrit page (opens in new tab) for the body detection feature, which has an email from Wistron listed on the “signed by” line.
Chrome without box (opens in new tab) states that if Wistron is listed it could mean that Dell is involved as per previous Chromium Gerrit pages, but this is circumstantial evidence at best. We won’t know until more information is discovered or leaked. If you’re interested in Chromebooks, recently published a best list to 2022.