facial recognitionDuring the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich in Hong Kong we got our first look at a new unlocking feature for Android devices called “Face Unlock.”  While certainly a cool novelty, is it really going to make our lives any simpler?

Setting aside the embarrassing mess up on stage tonight whereby no one was unable to unlock the phone during the demo, Google tried to convince us that Face Unlock would change things where we would no longer need to enter a code or pin number to get into our phones.  By holding the phone up to center your face in a round circle, the phone should unlock only for you by using facial recognition software, freeing you of having to remember a code, and it should also increase your security should you lose your handset.

While this sounds fun, and we definitely have no arguments with the increased security, is this really going to be simpler than tapping a short pin code or tracing a pattern on the screen with your thumb?  With the latter two you can easily do them when walking down the street, running on the treadmill or even easily do it in the dark, and you can almost always do it in a second or less.  How quickly can you unlock the phone with the facial recognition?  Even before they were told they had failed on stage, it took some time to give that denial, and if you’re someone who unlocks their phone numerous times through out the day, it’s pretty obvious this could get quickly annoying.

If you have a lot of sensitive data on your phone this could be awesome.  If you’re a teenager with a texting addiction … we suggest staying as far away from this as possible.

What do you think of the idea of unlocking your phone with facial recognition every time you need to do something?

Be sure to check out all of our Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich coverage.