Google ‘Is Working’ On A Face-Scanning Smartphone

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facial scanning
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Team behind Project Tango is helping Google develop a biometric-friendly device according to reports

Google’s next smartphone could come equipped with facial recognition software, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal claims that not only is Google looking to include the technology into future devices, but that it will help everyone from blind people to bankers to carry out a range of services.

The project is being assisted by Movidious, the company which previously assisted Google with its Project Tango system, looking to bringing 3D scanning and modeling to mobile devices, and could be included in new Nexus products later this year.

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biometric scanningThe report says that Google sees a wide range of potential applications for the new scanning technology, along with obvious ones such as security and unlocking the device.

It says that real-time scanning, built in to the hardware of the devices so as not to necessitate connection to the internet to unlock its full potential, will open up applications such as identifying people to authorise transactions, aiding blind people and translating signs.

It also quotes Movidius chief executive Remi El-Ouazzane, who says that smartphones using this technology will arrive in the “not-too-distant future,” suggesting that the technology could be implemented in new Nexus devices soon.

“This collaboration is going to lead to a new generation of devices that Google will be launching,” he added.

Google has been rather late to the facial scanning game, and the biometrics industry in general, which has seen rapid pick-up by some of the technology industry’s biggest players.

Microsoft has probably been the biggest supporter of facial recognition software, with its Windows Hello service giving users an easy way to log in to their accounts without needing to enter a password. There has also been rumours that this system will make its way into future Windows-powered smartphones, although this may only be with the release of Windows 10 Mobile soon.

Several other companies have been involved in developing similar technologies, including Fujitsu, which developed an iris scanner integrated into a smartphone camera, which uses a scan to unlock and authorise use of a device.

Mastercard has also said that it is planning to rollout a new program that will use a self-portrait photo taken with a smartphone to clear your purchases at the checkout.

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