Cell Phone Face Recognition Unveiled

Sensor enables access to devices only to users with faces it recognizes.
Japanese vendor Omron said this week that it has developed face recognition software for securing data stored in cell phones, PDAs and other devices with built-in cameras.

The device would help ensure that only authorized persons use the devices, the company said in a statement. That is becoming increasingly important as devices carry increasing amounts of sensitive information, a company executive said in a statement.

"Functionality in mobile phones and other mobile devices is upgrading significantly from simple phone calls and e-mails to include a variety of access, payment and planning services," said Masato Kawade, a senior manager for the company. "As a result, mobile devices are carrying ever more personal information including address books, schedules and payment information,"

The owner takes his or her own photo and registers it with the software. The verification process takes less than a second, according to the company.

The software works with the Symbian OS, Linux and BREW-capable cell phones, the company said.