Celulares reconocerán caras de sus dueños

TOKYO (AFP) – Mobile telephones intelligent enough to recognize their users’ faces and perform only for them could soon be on the market, in a major boost to security in an increasingly sensitive sector.
AFP Photo
Japanese researchers said they have developed the first face-recognition technology for mobiles as a security measure due to the growing use of cellphones for advanced operations such as personal finance.
To turn on the cellphone, an internal camera will take a snapshot of the potential user and within one second match it with a photograph on file of its owner.
The Omron Corporation, based in the western city of Kyoto, said the technology «has been designed to protect information even when the mobile phone is lost or stolen.»
Omron laboratory senior manager Masato Kawade said in a statement that the uses of mobile telephones were «upgrading significantly from simple phone calls and e-mails to include a variety of access payment and planning services.»
The technology was unveiled at a fair in Japan, which has been at the forefront of embracing advanced cellphones.
Japan’s largest mobile operator NTT DoCoMo (news – web sites) has been a pioneer of third-generation telephone services, which offer high-tech functions such as videophones and online banking, and plans to phase out existing second-generation subscriptions altogether by 2012.
British mobile giant Vodafone last month sealed a deal to bring to its Japanese subscribers contactless cards inside their handsets which can pay bills or act as train tickets.
The Felica card embraced by Vodafone was developed by NTT DoCoMo with Sony and the East Japan Railway Company to let commuters make purchases using the card held up to 10 centimetres (four inches) away from a receiver.

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