Viewdle could lead to multi-user profiles for Android tablets

The facial and gesture recognition technology is perfectly suited for shared Android devices. Ice Cream Sandwich was a good start, but now we need more.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
Shared tablets could benefit from multiple user profiles identified by facial recognition technology. Viewdle

When I read the news this morning that Motorola had acquired facial and gesture recognition company Viewdle, the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Here comes multi-user profiles for Android."

Why? Because it's the next logical step for the platform, and one that could help differentiate it from Apple. That, and it's something for which I'm really hoping. Assuming I read the tea leaves properly, future versions of Android will introduce the capability to unlock a device with your face that leads to individual profile settings.

As we've seen over the past years, it's becoming increasingly common to find tablets in the average household. And, although the price has continued to drop, we're not quite at a point where families are buying multiple devices.

Sharing is nice and all, but what about privacy, personal settings, or preferences? Not everyone is keen to hand over a tablet that's full of business e-mails and photos. To address this issue, some companies are turning to multi-user profiles. In other words, little Johnny does not have to see all the apps and widgets that dad uses for work.

As both the Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD have introduced the feature, I suspect this will become a standard selling point for those $200 devices.

Turning to Android tablets as a whole, Sony also included something similar with its Xperia Tablet S. Looking ahead, this feels like something that consumers may come to expect out of a shared tablet.