New software brings facial-recognition technology to mobile phones (w/ Video)

Oct 26, 2010

Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed software for mobile phones that can track your facial features in real-time. Eventually it will be able to tell who the user is, where they are looking and even how they are feeling.

The method is believed to be unrivalled for speed and accuracy and could lead to replacing passwords and PIN numbers to log into internet sites from a mobile phone.

"Existing mobile face trackers give only an approximate position and scale of the face," said Dr Phil Tresadern, lead researcher on the project. "Our model runs in real-time and accurately tracks a number of landmarks on and around the face such as the eyes, nose, mouth and jaw line.

"A mobile phone with a camera on the front captures a video of your face and tracks twenty-two . This can make more accurate, and has great potential for novel ways of interacting with your phone."

Originally intended as part of a face- and voice-verification system for access to mobile internet applications such as email, and online banking, alternative uses for the device could include fun applications that, for instance, attach to the user's face as they move around.

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"At this stage, we're particularly interested in demonstrating uses for the face-tracking part of the technology, which is the area The University of Manchester is involved in," said Dr Tresadern, who is based in Manchester's School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences. "It is very fast and I can't find anything that can rival it on a mobile phone."

Face verification is already used in laptops, webcams and the Kinect but this is the first time the technology is being used with such sophistication in mobile devices such as smartphones.

The new software, built on 20 years of research at the University, has been demonstrated on a Nokia N900 for the EU-funded "Mobile Biometrics" (MoBio) project.

Explore further: Encryption made easier: Just talk like a parent

More information: For further information about the project visit: www.mobioproject.org

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User comments : 2

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trekgeek1
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
That's pretty good. I disabled the facial recognition security on my Lenovo when I was able to unlock it with a picture of myself. I was surprised to say the least. Though there is a price to pay with extreme accuracy. A slight modification to your appearance may significantly change the results.
derphysiker
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
Hmm, there are already several Webcam-SW out there that allows to attach things to your face...

And no, no biometric authentication system can be secure without an aliveness-check, be it fingerprint, face-recognition or iris-scan...

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