Genesis GV60 facial recognition review: does this scary new tech actually work?
The future is coming, and it wants your face... to open up your car
What’s the tech?
Facial recognition for your car. Y’know, like your phone.
How does it work?
Genesis is the world’s first car company to bring this to market. A camera in the B-pillar reads a 3D map of your face and, if it likes what it sees, unlocks the door for you. It’s called 'Face Connect' and there are coloured LEDs in a circle around the camera to let you know what’s going on. There’s then a fingerprint sensor inside that lets you start the car. Up to four faces can be stored in the system, and all the data is kept encrypted in the car – no biometric data is uploaded to a Genesis cloud server.
What’s the reality?
Set-up is faster and easier than with your phone. Having used the key (yes, it comes with one of those, too) you follow the on-screen instructions to set up your fingerprint and face. From then on all you have to do is look at the B-pillar when you press the door handle and the car will open. All good.
You don’t have to remember your keys, which means no-one can steal them, they’re not scratching your phone in your bag or filling your pockets. Good news. It works in the dark and no, showing the camera a picture of your face doesn’t work (we tried).
A few issues lurk, though. It’s not as fast as your phone. The camera needs to see your face for a few seconds, which, if you’ve parallel parked on a busy road, is nerve-wracking. There’s also only the one camera on the driver’s pillar, so if you want to open the boot, you’ll need to visit that first. It also struggled with the driver wearing sunglasses when the sun was behind. When the light goes red instead of green your stomach lurches – how the hell do you get in now?
Gimmick or gadget?
Gadget. Just. It’s a fun talking point and works well provided you’re not in a rush (the whole face entry and fingerprint start-up process takes extra seconds we don’t normally allow for).
Best of all, like the Genesis remote phone app (yes, there’s one of those too), it costs nothing to add – it’s now standard equipment on all GV60s. Treat it as a useful extra feature, rather than a game changer, because what it mostly serves to do is remind you how sensible/flexible a remote control fob is.
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