25
Mar
g2

Easily the coolest part of LG's custom Android skin is KnockOn, a feature introduced with the G2 that allows users to knock on a sleeping phone to wake it up. Knock Code, a pattern-based alternative with a bit more security, was introduced with the G Pro 2 and other phones at Mobile World Congress. According to a new press release, LG will make good on its promise to expand this feature to other phones, starting with the G2 and G Flex in April.

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Knock Code uses a series of taps at specific points on the screen to both wake up and unlock the device, sort of like Android's default pattern unlock (with the screen off). When we tried out the feature at MWC, it was surprisingly reliable - after a bit of trial and error to get the "feel," we were able to input the 4-tap sequence without issues. I'm sure owners of the LG G2 and G flex will appreciate having access to the new feature, especially since it's coming relatively quickly after the announcement of the G Pro 2.

American readers, take note of some of the word choices in the press release, especially the part about "certain countries." Thanks to the less-than-ideal way that carriers certify and release software updates for branded versions of phones, US variants of the G2 and G Flex could be getting this update weeks or months after unlocked counterparts.

SEOUL, Mar. 25, 2014 ― As announced at Mobile World Congress last month, Knock Code™ will be a key feature in LG smartphone models this year, including G Pro 2, G2 mini, F Series and L SeriesIII. Now LG Electronics (LG) will make its innovative Knock Code™ feature available on earlier LG smartphone models via a firmware update starting in April. Owners of LG G2 and G Flex in specific countries will be the first to receive the Knock Code™ update which will give users instant access to their smartphones via a customized “knock” pattern.

With recent consumer research showing that most users check and unlock their devices between 100 and 150 times a day, LG was inspired to further enhance its KnockON feature with a higher layer of security and convenience. KnockOn, which LG patented in 2008, was the perfect foundation to further develop Knock Code™, which is unique in its ability to both wake and unlock the phone in one step, a clear time-saver for users. It’s no surprise that more than 50 percent of participants in a recent survey selected Knock Code™ as the most anticipated feature of G Pro 2, demonstrating the real need for an alternate solution to smartphone security.1

The consumer benefits of LG’s Knock Code™ technology are obvious in its ability to wake and unlock the phone simultaneously, providing more convenience and greater security over conventional password and pattern-based security options. With Knock Code™, the smartphone display is divided into four invisible quadrants. The user taps or “knocks” anywhere from two to eight times in the quadrants in a specific sequence. With more than 80,000 possible combinations and no fingerprint streaks, Knock Code™ offers a level of security far greater than other devices, even those with fingerprint recognition systems. And because Knock Code™ can be implemented anywhere on the screen in any size without having to view the screen, there’s no chance of password theft. In addition to being safer and more convenient, Knock Code™ is also more responsive compared to bio-recognition systems, which are much more susceptible to variations in the environment.

“LG engineers placed a great amount of emphasis on providing users with exceptional security and convenience when developing Knock Code,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Making Knock Code accessible to a wider audience is consistent with our direction to differentiate LG mobile devices on the basis of user experience.”

Details of availability of the Knock Code™ upgrade will be announced locally in the weeks ahead.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Adrian

    Jupi!

  • tuvan26

    when source codes arrives to xda, it will be all of ours :)

    • Scott

      Pretty sure LG won't release the source code for this.

  • Leandro Brandão

    "in specific countries"
    i can see that here in Brazil we will not receive this update, we are still in 4.2.2.

  • Chris Webster

    Can't wait to get this on my G2. LG is really showing why it has the best smartphone out there, and I've been really impressed with it since recently moving over from my beloved Nexus 4

    • Gordon

      I just moved from the HTC One to the G2 & while the HTC One is an excellent phone, this G2 is winning me over quickly to the point im thinking it may be the most useful smartphone i have owned

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I wonder if this can be ported as a native function without kernel magic

    • Simon Belmont

      Doubtful I'm almost certain it requires kernel magic.

      If an app was doing it, it'd likely be very battery consuming. That said, anything is possible in the Android space, I guess.

      • Matthew Fry

        Possible yes. Reliable and battery efficient? Low-level.

        • Simon Belmont

          Yes. Which is exactly what I said in my first line. ;)

          The only way I could see an app taking advantage of it is if it tapped into the low power sensors (gyros and accelerometers) to detect the knocks, but I doubt that's how it works. I'm sure it's actually detecting capacitive touches on the screen even when it's at low-power idle, which of course would require that kernel magic discussed above. :)

  • Simon Belmont

    Hopefully US based versions will see Knock Code with the KitKat update. Of course, like the article said, that could be months away.

    As much as I love LG's hardware, their update reputation isn't the best. You're lucky if you get a single major update before it's abandoned, but maybe they'll try harder as their stuff grows in popularity.

  • no-one-cares

    Wouldn't this remove some of the benefits of the knock on feature? Also, how many variations of "shave and a haircut" are there anyway?

    • Brandon

      If it serves as an alternative to an actual pin/pattern lockscreen that exchange recognizes I'll be ecstatic. In the grand scheme of things it would only cut out the initial 2 knocks, but I think it could be nice to eliminate the lockscreen.

  • Wilson Lim

    how I hope Samsung would add this to their phones :/

  • Danny Lewis

    *knock* *knock* *knock knock* *knock* Do you want to build a snowman?

  • droidsarefun

    Cool. Now if only we could just get KK on the damned G2.
    /me shakes fist at Verizon

    • Prezes Dyrektor

      just put cm11 on and don't look back

  • brandon johnson

    yeah, but that font tho