Google launching “on-body detection” lock feature for Android devices

Google is rolling out a new feature for Android devices that detects human touch and automatically adjusts the lock mode based on whether the device is being carried or not.

The feature will know when a user is holding their phone or have it in their pocket and lock the device when the user is not nearby.

When users unlock their handset it will remain unlocked if held or kept in their pocket.


If the user were to leave the device at home and go out then the device would automatically lock itself and ask for the password to access it again.

The new feature adds convenience and security.

It will help prevent thieves from being able to easily steal data stored in an owner’s Android device.

For example, if someone with the feature were to leave their phone on a table for a minutes to buy a coffee then the phone would automatically detect that the user is not nearby and would lock itself.

If another person were to grab the phone from the table they would not be able to access it because of the automatic lock mode.

The on-body detection mode, as its being called, ”uses your device’s accelerometer to detect whether your device is still being carried on the body.”

“If your device detects that it’s no longer being held, your device won’t stay unlocked,” reads Google’s note.


Who will be able to use the new feature?

There has been no official word about what smartphones, or Android version will be necessary to use the new on-body detection mode.

However, Android Police claims that the feature has been used on a Nexus 4 still running Android 5.0.1.


“This doesn’t seem to be a feature related to Android 5.1, but you probably need 5.0+ for it to work. We do know our tipster has the most recent version of Play Services (we tried with the same version on our Nexuses, and no dice), and we know trusted places is enabled by Google Play Services, so it seems likely this on-body detection mode is probably activated similarly, and isn’t part of the core OS,”