When Your Face is Your Password

After forgetting his login password one time too many, a laptop owner starts using facial recognition to access his computer.

Facial login as password using laptop camera

FastAccess is a facial recognition application that lets people use their face to securely unlock their smartphone, tablet or laptop and access password-protected Internet sites.

Crafting secure passwords is essential to keeping computing devices out of harm’s way. Remembering all those complex passwords has become increasingly difficult as people use more devices to access more online services and sites, but a perceptual computing app can make entering passwords as easy as looking in the mirror.

When Paul McKeon changed his Windows login password, he promptly forgot it.

“I had to spend some time on the phone with the help desk getting that all sorted out,” said McKeon, a communications manager at Intel. “That set me on the path for finding a better way.”

McKeon found a better way with perceptual computing. He turned his own face into his password using a 99- cent app on his Windows laptop that he downloaded from the Intel AppUp Store. The app, FastAccess Anywhere, allows people to unlock their Android, Apple and Windows devices quickly and access password-protected Internet sites and services.

“I have to admit that when I first tried it, I found that it didn’t work to my liking,” said McKeon. “I had to do more clicking and refining on the screen than I expected. It went fallow for a few months until I saw a demonstration of an updated version. I gave it another go and I haven’t looked back since.”

The app uses the webcam in McKeon’s laptop. It captured and stored an image of his face. “Now every time I log in, it checks to see if that stored image matches a current image of my face. If it does, I’m quickly granted access,” he said.

Facial recognition applications can sometimes be fooled by placing a photo of the owner in front of the device’s camera. To prevent this, McKeon uses two factor authentication to ensure his important Windows login is secure.FastAccess lets device owners augment their face login with a pattern drawn by a fingertip, or by placing different color shapes in a particular order.

No typing passwords with facial recognition login

"For me this is a convenience … as soon as I turn back the machine recognizes me, it opens up and I'm ready to go," said Paul McKeon, a communications manager at Intel.

“For me this is a convenience,” McKeon said. “If I happen to be on the phone and have not been paying attention to my laptop for a while it locks. It’s frustrating when I’m ready to get back to work and I have to first unlock my laptop. But now, as soon as I turn back, the machine recognizes me, it opens up and I’m ready to go.”

McKeon admits that occasionally the app doesn’t work, so he re-adjusts the settings. But for the most part, he sees the app effectively learning to link his face with passwords not only to unlock his laptop but also to access myriad websites that require passwords.

“I can look for a restaurant or get into my Yahoo! account without having to remember my various passwords,” he said. “That spares me time and frustration.”

When Your Face is Your Password

After forgetting his login password one time too many, a laptop owner starts using facial recognition to access his computer.

Facial login as password using laptop camera

FastAccess is a facial recognition application that lets people use their face to securely unlock their smartphone, tablet or laptop and access password-protected Internet sites.

Crafting secure passwords is essential to keeping computing devices out of harm’s way. Remembering all those complex passwords has become increasingly difficult as people use more devices to access more online services and sites, but a perceptual computing app can make entering passwords as easy as looking in the mirror.

When Paul McKeon changed his Windows login password, he promptly forgot it.

“I had to spend some time on the phone with the help desk getting that all sorted out,” said McKeon, a communications manager at Intel. “That set me on the path for finding a better way.”

McKeon found a better way with perceptual computing. He turned his own face into his password using a 99- cent app on his Windows laptop that he downloaded from the Intel AppUp Store. The app, FastAccess Anywhere, allows people to unlock their Android, Apple and Windows devices quickly and access password-protected Internet sites and services.

“I have to admit that when I first tried it, I found that it didn’t work to my liking,” said McKeon. “I had to do more clicking and refining on the screen than I expected. It went fallow for a few months until I saw a demonstration of an updated version. I gave it another go and I haven’t looked back since.”

The app uses the webcam in McKeon’s laptop. It captured and stored an image of his face. “Now every time I log in, it checks to see if that stored image matches a current image of my face. If it does, I’m quickly granted access,” he said.

Facial recognition applications can sometimes be fooled by placing a photo of the owner in front of the device’s camera. To prevent this, McKeon uses two factor authentication to ensure his important Windows login is secure.FastAccess lets device owners augment their face login with a pattern drawn by a fingertip, or by placing different color shapes in a particular order.

No typing passwords with facial recognition login

"For me this is a convenience … as soon as I turn back the machine recognizes me, it opens up and I'm ready to go," said Paul McKeon, a communications manager at Intel.

“For me this is a convenience,” McKeon said. “If I happen to be on the phone and have not been paying attention to my laptop for a while it locks. It’s frustrating when I’m ready to get back to work and I have to first unlock my laptop. But now, as soon as I turn back, the machine recognizes me, it opens up and I’m ready to go.”

McKeon admits that occasionally the app doesn’t work, so he re-adjusts the settings. But for the most part, he sees the app effectively learning to link his face with passwords not only to unlock his laptop but also to access myriad websites that require passwords.

“I can look for a restaurant or get into my Yahoo! account without having to remember my various passwords,” he said. “That spares me time and frustration.”