New biometric system identifies users by analyzing their facial movements


Facial recognition and fingerprints are certainly handy ways to unlock phones, but sometimes they can be tricked by photos or pointing the handset at sleeping users.

A new AI system aims to make biometric authentication more secure by analyzing facial movements.

The technology forces users to record a short video of themselves doing a unique facial movement. AAn integrated neural network framework then inspects the images for their characteristics and movements simultaneously.

When the user later tries to access their phone, the system checks that their face matches the recorded data.

The technology, called simultaneous two-factor identity verification (C2FIV), was developed by DJ Lee, a professor at Brigham Young University. He said it could provide a more secure method of verification than current biometric identifiers:

The biggest problem we’re trying to solve is making sure the identity verification process is intentional. If someone is unconscious, you can always use their finger to unlock a phone and access their device, or you can scan their retina. You see this often in the movies – think of Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible even using masks to mimic someone else’s face.

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In a preliminary study, Lee trained the neural network on 8,000 clips of 50 subjects doing various facial movements such as smiling, blinking, and raising their eyebrows. He said the system verified identifications with over 90% accuracy – which could still improve with a larger training dataset.

Although the modern face unlock technology used in modern phones is hard to get around with these tricks.

The technology is unlikely to replace the face unlock systems used in modern smartphones, which are becoming much more difficult to fool. But Lee believes C2FIV could be used in a wide range of applications, from online banking to vehicle access:

We could build this tiny little device with a camera on it and this device could be deployed easily in a lot of different places. Would it be great to know that even if you lose your car key, no one can steal your vehicle because they don’t know your secret facial action?

HT – Engadget.

Published March 16, 2021 – 21:29 UTC


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