With 'on-body detection,' Android phones become ATTACHED to their owners

On-body detection: Owners attached to phones or phones attached to owners?

body not detected
Credit: Wikimedia

Google is rolling out a new feature for Android called "on-body detection," perhaps already glommed to a phone near you. On-body detection is apparently designed as a measure to prevent would-be thieves from 'powning' purloined phones.

Lately, it started appearing on Android phones of random bloggers, now leaving lasting impressions of the feature sticking in the minds of lucky readers.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers cry out, missing their lost phones.

Today's humble blogwatcher is .

David Ruddock detects a new feature:

Google is currently rolling out a new smart lock mode called on-body detection. The feature, described in [these screenshots], uses your accelerometer to figure out when your device is in your hand or pocket, and lock when it's not.  MORE

And the phone of Larry Banks smarts to the touch: [You're fired -Ed.]

Google has added smart-locking features to Android in the past. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, mobile devices could detect when a trusted Bluetooth device or an NFC chip was in range and disable the security lock.  MORE

But wait, there's Kelly Fiveash with a caveat:

But, there's...a caveat:

If you unlock your device and hand it to someone else, your device also stays unlocked as long as the other person continues to hold or carry it.  MORE

Jon 'Five' Fingas digs through settings: [Please. -Ed.]

Just when you'll get this option isn't certain, though. Google is slowly rolling out body detection to users through Google Play Services, not software updates, so you might not know it's available until you dig through the settings at the right time.  MORE

Speaking of five fingers, Jeff Causey thwarts the "discount" variety:

The new method appears to have been designed to help thwart thieves in case a user accidentally forgets their device somewhere. One thing users have determined is that the...feature will not lock a device if the device is handed to someone else, so it is not tied to a specific user -- only movement typically of being on a person's body or in their hand.  MORE

Meanwhile, @humphreybc has a neat idea:

New feature rolling out on Android (independent to OS update): On-body detection. Neat idea.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websitesÖ so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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