Biometric facial recognition technology has been developed for use in mobile phones by a team at The University of Manchester in the UK.
The software enables facial features to be tracked in real time, therefore enabling the device to tell who the user is - and even where they are looking and how they are feeling.
The developers say the technology could lead to the use of biometric facial recognition for smartphones, instead of passwords and PIN numbers. The technology was demonstrated on a Nokia N9000 (see image) as part of the European Union-funded MoBio (Mobile Biometrics) project.
Facial Recognition Software
Biometric facial recognition software is already used as a verification system in several software applications such as laptops, webcams and the Xbox, but according to the university this is the first time the technology is being used with such sophistication in mobile devices such as smartphones".
Dr Phil Tresadern, lead researcher on the project, explained the system's concept and how it works. He said: "Existing mobile face trackers give only an approximate position and scale of the face. 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 facial features," he added. "This can make face recognition more accurate, and has great potential for novel ways of interacting with your phone."
Secure Mobile Phone
The researchers claim the facial recognition software is "unrivalled for speed and accuracy" and as well as being used to secure mobile phone security verifications for email, social networking and online banking, could also be used for entertainment applications in mobile devices.
Image courtesy The University of Manchester Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences.