Only a Live Human’s Face Can Unlock a Smartphone Protected by trinamiX Face Authentication

We keep everything on our smartphones anymore — our personal files, photos, email, and messages — we also use them to store sensitive info like our credit cards and passwords. You’ve likely heard horror stories about how facial detection on Android smartphones can be less secure than using a fingerprint or a PIN, but trinamiX Face Authentication aims to change that.

Instead of allowing someone to game the face unlock feature with a photo or other means, trinamiX Face Authentication uses 2D Infrared face detection while also performing a “liveness” check that distinguishes live skin from fake.

TrinamiX Face Authentication is so accurate that it can even detect a pulse. So if someone were to be extra macabre and try to use a mask or dead skin (shudder) to unlock a smartphone, it wouldn’t work, as you will see shortly!

Similar to an in-display fingerprint reader, the tiny triamiX Face Authentication module is hidden behind the smartphone’s display and covered with pixels, meaning there’s no need to go back to an ugly notch or add additional punch-holes at the top of Android displays to accommodate the technology.


TrinamiX Face Authentication is secure; it’s passed the highest biometric security requirements, including being tested and certified according to the FIDO Alliance Biometric Component Certification Program, the IIFAA Biometric Face Security Test Requirement, and the Android Biometric Security Test.

TrinamiX has a Spoof Acceptance Rate (SAR) of 0%, which is pretty freaking impressive.

At the Snapdragon Summit, I had a chance to see trinamiX Face Authentication in the flesh, pun intended. A couple of hyper-realistic masks were present that matched the faces of the company reps I met with.

TrinamiX face authentication is able to discern live faces from a hyper-relistic silicone mask.

A quick demonstration was given of how easily one of these silicone masks could defeat the face recognition security on an Android phone, which — let’s face it — we all know is a problem.

Next, we were shown how even the trinamiX Face Authentication — with only 2D turned on — could be defeated by the ridiculously realistic mask.

Only a Live Human's Face Can Unlock a Smartphone Protected by trinamiX Face Authentication

Two hyper-realistic silicone masks with trinamiX face authentication running on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 reference device.

But when the Lifeness recognition was switched on, it was game over for the silicone mask, as access was completely denied. Watch, and you’ll see what I mean.

TrinamiX Face Authentication is optimized to work with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform; hopefully, we will see it on upcoming devices using that flagship SoC!

You can learn more about trinamiX face authentication here.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

2 Comments on "Only a Live Human’s Face Can Unlock a Smartphone Protected by trinamiX Face Authentication"

  1. This made me think of the movie Face-Off with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, where their characters had each other’s faces transplanted and they pretended to be the other person, though actual face transplants don’t work that way.

  2. crazy way to do it

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