The Smart Lock options in Android 5.0 are pretty awesome, with Trusted Bluetooth Devices, improved face detection and more recently Trusted Places, but Google isn’t done yet apparently, with reports of a new option called On Body Detection apparently appearing for at least one user.

The tip came in to Android Police who have shared a bit more information, as well as some screenshots taken of the setup, which contains an explanation. Essentially it appears to work using the accelerometer in your phone to detect when the phone is being carried. The explanation notes it can’t tell who is carrying the phone, so it’s not a fool proof selection.

The idea seems to be when the accelerometer detects the phone is upright and perhaps even moving a little (like when you’re using it) rather than lying horizontal and static (like when it’s lying on a desk) – pretty simple.

The user – Ryan – who reported the new feature was actually on a Nexus 4 using Android 5.0.1, though had the latest Google Play Services update, which points to that as the method of delivery for the update. Ryan advised a factory reset seems to have been the trigger for making the update appear, so if you’re interested in getting this option – you may have to lose some data.

It’s a pretty neat feature, if you’re willing to update to the latest Google Play Services and Factory Reset your phone, let us know what you think about it.

Source: Android Police.
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    Interesting. I remember reading some research about the use of accelerometers to identify somebody by their gait (the unique way in which they walk). Could this perhaps be the precursor? Use this feature to train your phone on your gait and later overcome things like riding on a train, bus, handing to somebody else etc?


    Working for me on Nexus 6 with 5.1.


    Just field tested it, and it works a treat. Put the phone in my pocket and drove to Coles. Check Keep for my shopping list – phone is unlocked. In the past I would of had to unlock the phone, which can be a pain when juggling a trolley and trying to reign in a small child – then continually unlocking the phone when needing to glance at the long list. Get to the check out, enter the PIN in the CommBank app and Tap and Pay with the phone. Ahh, ain’t technology grand. P.S.: If you leave your phone… Read more »


    Got it – there were a lot of Google updates in the Play Store today. But c’mon Google, how hard is it to have trusted Wi-Fi networks as a Trusted Places? I know that you can have your locations as Trusted Places, but you need to have Location set to High Accuracy mode for the Smart Unlock to be reliable – and this drains the battery on my Nexus 5. Prefer to have it set to Battery Saving mode.


    With the 5.1 update on my nexus 6 trusted place is not working even when location set to high accuracy mode.


    Same here. I had to ‘retrain’ my home address in Maps.


    This option is available on my Nexus 5 running stock 5.1 in Australia.


    On N6 stock rooted 5.1 in AUS (last reboot was 45 hours ago)

    Dennis Bareis

    I’d hate to lose my phone on the train with that option turn on…


    But once it stops moving it will lock again. I’m pretty sure sitting still on the floor or seat of a moving train should disable it.

    If not there is always remote lock and then wipe!

    Dennis Bareis

    It detects movement so I doubt it, either way its not riskless so while people can turn it off or on Google is not supplying enough information to be able to make an informed decision.

    Who knows what they have done by the time I can lock/wipe the device?


    Google is warning you, its right there in the screenshots.

    Dennis Bareis

    Its hardly a warning and all pretty vague. I wasn’t talking about handing the phone to someone.


    I suspect it’s a lot more than movement that it detects. It probably uses the Google fit frameworks to detect “steps” to figure out when someone is walking vs the phone just lying in a moving vehicle. It would be nice if the ability to switch on-body detection was available in the quick notifications menu, this way you could enable/disable it on demand rather than having it switched on all the time. I relate to the poster who highlighted the shopping list example, I went through the unlock, check list item, unlock, check list item… or screen always on –… Read more »


    It does lock on a train, just takes longer. About 5 minutes.

    Shane Wilson

    Factory reset not required, I just did a reboot and the option appeared.