Face recognition may replace passwords in mobile phones

Face recognition may replace passwords in mobile phones

Eventually, it will be able to tell who the user is, where they are looking and even how they are feeling.

Face verification is already used in laptops, webcams and the Xbox 360 Kinect but this is the first time the technology is being used with such sophistication in mobile devices such as smartphones.

"Existing mobile face trackers give only an approximate position and scale of the face," said Phil Tresadern from the University of Manchester, Britain, who led the project, the Daily Mail reported.

"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," he said.

"A mobile phone with a camera on the front captures a video of your face and tracks 22 facial features."

This can make face recognition more accurate, and has great potential for novel ways of interacting with a mobile phone, Tresadern said.

"At this stage, we're particularly interested in demonstrating uses for the face-tracking part of the technology," he said. "It is very fast and I can't find anything that can rival it on a mobile phone."

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.