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The selfie camera will be permanently enabled on 2022 premium smartphones

When announcing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm announced a feature that would permanently enable the screen to open without touching the selfie camera.

A small bubble pierces the screen of the Galaxy S21

A small bubble pierces the screen of the Galaxy S21 // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

This week, Qualcomm is hosting its Snapdragon summit in Hawaii, a major annual rally during which equipment manufacturer unveils its next-generation chip. This year, the company had the opportunity to offer its new SoC for smartphones. Snapdragon 8 General1. If you’ve already seen a lot of its features or Manufacturers who have announced that they will be fitted, An activity that has so far gone under the radar: The The camera is always on.

For photos and videos, in addition to the three chips dedicated to classic image processing, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 integrates the fourth ISP, which is integrated directly into the Sensing Hub chip, which is part of the SoC dedicated to AI computing and is particularly energy efficient. This fourth ISP will actually play a certain role because it will allow you to permanently operate the selfie camera to search and identify your face.

Judd Heape, Product Manager at Qualcomm, noted that this ISP allows the front camera to always be alert, whether the screen is on the smartphone or not:

Your selfie camera will always look safe even if you do not touch or raise your face. Imagine you are sitting at your desk or standing in front of your kitchen counter, holding your hands and waking up your mobile at a glance at any moment. This is now possible on the Snapdragon 8 with the new camera permanently enabled.

Applications designed to protect your data

The idea of ​​this new feature is that it allows you to wake up the smartphone in any situation without having to press the screen or the lock button while your face is in front of the selfie camera. . However, Qualcomm did not want to stop there and Judd Heap pointed out that the American company has several plans in development on this page:

Until now, the smartphone stops looking for your face as soon as you unlock it. But because it is always on camera, it is always looking for your face. This way, if you are not in front of your phone, it will be locked. If someone takes it from you, it will be locked. He may react to your presence if someone else comes. If someone looks over your shoulder, they can turn off the screen, delete personal content or block your mobile. This way, we will protect your privacy. Or sometimes you just want to share what you see, but only what is currently displayed on the screen. If someone with you is watching your screen, the person on camera will always tell you to hide notifications and pop-ups on your device.

The idea is to try to protect users’ data as much as possible by constantly activating a camera that looks at your face. A contradiction that Qualcomm inevitably promised during his conference: “You don’t have to worry about privacy. Safe Senseic Hub does not leave when looking for data faces that are always on camera ”.

A “Dream of Privacy”

For its part, the American site On the edge This feature is highly criticized and deserves it “Dream of Privacy” :

For those who understand how modern technology is used to encroach on our privacy, the smartphone camera, which constantly captures images even when not in use, is a horrible sight, and its cost. Will be more than any facility for our privacy. Benefit.

As The Verge reminds us, many manufacturers offer features like Google through it Nest Hub Max Or manufacturers of security cameras, however these devices are standard and are not carried around with you everywhere. After all, in recent years, many security breaches have shown that these cameras can be hacked. This is usually annoying on a smartphone. There will always be more to shoot at you on the smartphone.

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As always with the innovations that Qualcomm’s SoCs bring, it is important to note that this is a functionality available to smartphone manufacturers who can equip their devices with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – we think specifically. Xiaomi, Oppo And Real. There is no indication that it will be used by manufacturers and integrated directly into their software.

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