This is something that perhaps all smartphone users have had to deal with, that of the unwanted glances from over your shoulder that seems to keep them glued to what’s unfolding on your phone’s display. That’s irritating to say the least though it is good to see Google working on a solution to address the same.

What is also interesting is that the Mountain View company is tapping into some of the most advanced technologies such as machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to take on what can inarguably be said the most basic of human characteristics, that of curiosity. The said feature again is almost entirely software based and does not necessitate any hardware modifications given that it relies on the front facing cam to catch up with the gazers.

Referred to simply as the ‘e-screen protector’, the system relies on face detection and gaze detection algorithms to find out if anyone is looking at your phone. Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff from Google working on the project added the system is efficient enough to pick up gazes in only 2 milliseconds, which means even the sliest of glances won’t escape being detected. The tech is also robust enough to work in varying lighting conditions as well, the Google duo further explained.

In a video demoing the above feature, the feature is shown being able to detect an onlooker almost instantly, changing the display to the person’s face. To further add to the insult, there is some fun filters added as well to further highlight the person having been caught red-handed.

Unfortunately, no matter how tempting you might feel to test the feature in a real word scenario, the fact is, the feature is still a work-in-progress thing. There is no surety either if the same will ever be made mainstream.

That said, the feature can always make for a nice addition to the stock Android version. Also, it being included in Android sometime in future can’t be ruled out either in view of the manner how AI and machine learning concepts have increasingly started proliferating to almost every sphere of our lives, including mobile platforms of course.

Mobile makers too have taken to enhance the capability of the phones to allow for those to take up AI based roles increasingly. Under the circumstances, the e-screen protector can always make a nice feature addition to Android.