New PC Security Recognizes Your Face

Enrolling users within the Bioscrypt system means first casting a 40,000-point infrared mesh grid over the user's face in order to take measurements.
In the future, workers will have to check in with their IT departments before getting any cosmetic surgery done to their face. That new nose job might just keep you from being able to log on to your PC, especially if your company opts to use the USB-pluggable 3-inch 3-D face recognition camera introduced Wednesday by Bioscrypt Inc. to authenticate end users.

The new technology combines Bioscrypt's background as a provider of fingerprint-based biometric access controls with the advanced face imaging and recognition technology it acquired along with A4Vision March 14.

The user sits in front of Bioscrypt's new VisionAccess 3D DeskCam and, with just a glance, can log onto their computer, network, or applications if integrated with Bioscrypt's VeriSoft SSO network logon and single sign on software, which automatically enters necessary credentials when a registered Web-based or Microsoft Windows application is accessed.

Enrolling users within the Bioscrypt system means first casting a 40,000-point infrared mesh grid over the user's face in order to take measurements. "It captures the shape of your face rather than taking a digital photo," says Ryan Zlockie, director of product management. These measurements are then stored as data either on the computer or in a more centralized network directory. There's also an encryption feature that protects this data while it's in transit or at rest. Since the sensor checking measurements of the user's face is infrared, it can work either in darkness or regular office light.

The VisionAccess 3D DeskCam, which costs about $300, was designed to be used with desktop PCs, but it can also be used as a laptop peripheral device. Bioscrypt would like to eventually see its technology embedded into a laptop the way cameras are today.

VisionAccess has one very important advantage over most laptop security. "You can't leave home without your face," says Grant Evans, former A4Vision CEO and president and member of Bioscrypt's board of directors. A4Vision attracted some serious backing during its brief life as an independent company, counting Larry Ellison's TAKO Ventures investment group and In-Q-Tel, a Central Intelligence Agency-backed venture group, as financial backers.

Bioscrypt Wednesday also said it's partnering with 3VR, a maker of searchable digital video surveillance systems, to integrate VisionAccess 3D Face Readers and the VisionAccess 3D DeskCam with 3VR's technology. The goal of this union is to help companies identify suspicious people or activity in real time either at a facility's entrance using the 3D Face Reader or at a closer proximity using the 3D DeskCam.

In such situations, Bioscrypt's 3D facial recognition system works with 3VR to perform multiple facial scans and comparisons against a database of stored images and corresponding data. If a person identified by the combination of Bioscrypt and 3VR biometric and digital video surveillance technologies was previously placed on a watch list, the system will initiate an alert to security personnel.

Which means that, if you're a criminal, you might want to get that new nose job after all.