Facial Recognition Coming to Mobile Devices

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Securing mobile devices is an increasingly crucial thing to do since we’re more apt to carry critical, and private, data than ever before. I don’t know about you, but if someone else got into the documents stored on my PDA or notebook, I’d be very upset. For some, upset would be just the beginning. If sensitive corporate information resides on a mobile device, the loss could be devastating. Biometrics have started their working their way into PDAs and notebooks but the next step, facial recognition, is coming soon.

A company called Omron recently announced they had found a way to enable facial recognition in PDAs and mobile phones with embedded cameras. While they didn’t mention it, surely notebooks with embedded cameras could also benefit.

The “OKAO Vision Face Recognition Sensor” only requires a .1 MP camera and a small software application to work. Higher resolution cameras will also do the trick, but they don’t impact the accuracy of the program. This means it will work with almost any embedded camera currently on the market. Perhaps the best part is the speed, the application can identify the owner and unlock the device in under a second, with 99% accuracy no less.

The main downside at the moment is Omron hasn’t developed the application for mainstream operating systems like Windows, Windows Mobile and Palm. Right now it only works with Symbian, BREW, Linux and ITRON embedded devices.

As companies put more emphasis on security, expect to see biometrics and programs such as this become more mainstream. The data we carry is important and can range from annoying to Earth shattering if it’s stolen. Just ask Paris Hilton.

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