Google’s new technology for matching faces to voices that the company patented earlier this summer may end up being commercialized sooner than anticipated as traces of such a solution have already been found in the code of the latest version of the Google app, version 8.16. XDA Developers reports that the functionality is called “Face Match” and is possibly an improved take on the Trusted Face tool that the Google Play Services framework has been offering for several Android iterations by now.
Details on the inner workings of the feature remain slim, though the source managed to directly link its existence with that of “Avocado,” a facial recognition service that’s been in the works for Google Assistant since at least the first half of the year, having first been spotted in the 8.1 beta build of the Google app in late April. With the Pixel 3 lineup of Android flagships already being widely expected to offer two or even three cameras on the front, Google may be preparing for a facial recognition push with its next smartphone generation despite the fact that it isn’t likely to commercialize a depth-sensing solution akin to that of Xiaomi’s Mi 8 and Apple’s iPhone X, at least not before 2019.
Assuming the Face Match functionality is related to the patent Google was awarded by the World Intellectual Property Organization in late June, the feature may be capable of ennobling more than just smartphones or even work in conjunction with the rumored wireless charging dock that may turn the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL into de facto smart displays. The patented technology can not only isolate individual voices from the background but also do the same with faces and match the two together, then personalize the content of the host device based on its findings. The Pixel 3 lineup of Android smartphones is expected to be announced in early fall at Google‘s annual hardware event whose last two editions took place on October 4.