No one really knows what goes on in Google’s test labs, and that’s probably for the best.
Google used chicken drumsticks to test the fingerprint scanner on the Nexus 6P.
A Redditor went along to Google’s Nexus Open Studio Event in New York City recently, and has now revealed insider information about the design process for the new smartphone in an extensive write-up.
According to Reddit user /r/sylocheed, the Nexus 6P’s biometric sensor was actually trialled with chicken skin, as inspired by an engineer’s lunch – seriously.
“Google wanted a quantitative way to measure the speed of the fingerprint sensor while they were optimizing its speed,” writes the Redditor.
“So, Google engineers built a rig with a robot “hand” and high-speed camera for testing and benchmarking the fingerprint sensor,” he continues. “However, the missing link was what to use for the actual fleshy finger stand-in.”
A conundrum, undoubtedly – at least until Google’s fingerprint lead tucked into some tasty grub.
“The product manager for fingerprint…she was having lunch one day in the café and she was having chicken drumsticks,” Krishna Kumar, Nexus Product Manager, was quoted as saying. “And she realised that the skin of the chicken drumstick is really similar to the human hand.”
Kumar continued: “So she took a batch of chicken drumsticks, took it upstairs to the lab, washed it, picked off a bit and tied it to the robot, and used that to measure the latency of the fingerprint sensor.”
Google's Nexus 6P, with view of fingerprint dimple on rear
Related: Nexus 6P vs Nexus 5X
It's worth noting that while most of the information in the Reddit thread was the "product of casual conversations", Kumar's insight came courtesy of a presentation given on the day.
As such, we’ve contacted Google to verify the integrity of these claims.
Do you like chicken drumsticks? Let us know in the comments.