Nec replaces passwords with face recognition

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 5, 2007
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Mobile Computing

Nec announced the Lavie C series of notebooks recently which are basically standard notebooks with one feature that makes them stick out from the rest. The new feature is called 'Face Pass' which is a biometric system that uses face recognition instead of passwords to grant access to the notebook. What this means basically is that instead of having to type in your account password whenever you want to use the notebook, you only need to look to the cam to do that.

This surely sounds nice because it increases user-friendliness. Most users do not like passwords at all because they have to memorize them to make them effective. With face recognition this would not be a problem anymore because they would only have to smile into the webcam to start the operating system of their notebook.

It remains to be seen how secure the system is. It would not be a great system if someone would for instance get access by using a high quality picture of the person who uses his face to access the notebook. I don't think that this technology will become mainstream one day. There are ways around this however, like requiring the user in front of the camera to blink with an eye, to open the mouth or perform another random operation in front of the cam to make sure a real human being is standing in front and not a photo or video of one.

The NEC Lavie C Series will come out this September in Japan. Notebook stats for the top range model are 1 Gigabyte of Ram, Core Duo 2 T7500 processor, Blue-Ray Read-only drive, a 160 Gigabyte hybrid hard drive (256 MB flash memory) and a 15.4" LCD screen with WXGA+.


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  1. Thinker said on September 6, 2007 at 9:59 am

    There was a time when I was creating a soft for face recognition and I must say it is very unaccurate in my opinion. There is so much simplification on picture made with camera that i think even not so high quality photo could be enough to get access.
    But I think this technology is not useless, when you got computer at home users can be automatically detected which is nice.

  2. Chris said on September 6, 2007 at 7:54 am

    haha 27pence…

    imagine that!

  3. 27pence said on September 6, 2007 at 6:52 am

    getting rejected at clubs is not enough for geeks?
    now they have to suffer trough comments like “i dont like your face – no access” from their notebooks :D

  4. Jesse said on September 6, 2007 at 4:00 am

    You can have this on your own computer with Bananasecurity. I tried it out and I must say, I wasn’t very impressed. The lighting needs to be perfect.

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