Worried about deepfakes? You should be – but Honor has an AI-powered solution

Honor's AI Deepfake Detection feature
Honor's Deepfake Detection feature in action (Image credit: Honor / Future)

For professional fraudsters, the rapid development of deepfake technology must feel like Christmas. Deepfake phishing attempts reportedly rose by 3,000% in 2023, and the ever-increasing accessibility of generative AI tools like Midjourney and OpenAI will do little to reduce that figure in 2024.

If you’ve ever encountered a deepfake video – whether of Tom Cruise dancing in his backyard or the CFO who tricked his employees into handing over $25 million (neither, of course, were the real deal) – then you’ve likely done so on your smartphone. So what are smartphone companies doing to defend against the threat of face-stealing fraudsters?

Honor, for its part, is fighting fire with fire. The company has announced plans to equip the best Honor phones with a new AI-powered Deepfake Detection feature that can identify and warn users against digitally manipulated content. The on-device tool will examine frame-by-frame information such as eye contact, lighting, image clarity and video playback to detect flaws that are imperceptible to the human eye. 

If inconsistencies are identified, the Deepfake Detection feature will trigger a popup that reads: “Honor scam alert. It looks like the other person could be using AI to swap their face.”

Honor's Deepfake Detection feature

A graphic illustrating Honor's Deepfake Detection feature (Image credit: Honor)

This tool will be limited to video calls at launch – it’s intended as a defense against scammers, after all – but there’s no reason to believe that Honor couldn’t expand its capabilities to deepfake-filled social media platforms like X and Instagram.

A new kind of retina display

Honor is touting its new Deepfake Detection feature as proof of the potential of on-device AI, and the brand has also teased another on-device tool that aims to help reduce the risk of myopia (or nearsightedness).

AI Defocus Eye Protection will essentially transform the best Honor phone displays into defocus glasses, which intentionally induce controlled defocus in the wearer’s peripheral visual field. 

In other words, new and upcoming Honor phones will track users’ eyesight to defocus peripheral areas of the screen, helping them to maintain clear central vision and reducing the risk of nearsightedness.

Honor's Defocus Eye Protection technology

A graphic illustrating Honor's Defocus Eye Protection technology (Image credit: Honor)

Honor says its AI Defocus Eye Protection technology can “decrease transient myopia by 13 degrees on average after reading for 25 minutes,” which makes it sound like less of a gimmick and more like a genuinely useful application of on-device AI. 

Both of these new features were announced at MWC Shanghai, and aren’t yet available for widespread use. As with Honor’s eye-tracking technology, we expect both Deepfake Detection and Defocus Eye Protection to be exclusive to the brand’s current top-end smartphones, though there’s also a chance that Honor could reserve these tools for future models.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.