Intel and Facelock Push Facial Recognition Forward

Written by David Michaelis

You are the password. Or, rather, your face is the password. And that’s great, because you can’t forget your face.

aNewDomain — You are the password. Or, rather, your face is the password. And that’s great, because you can’t forget your face.

Facial recognition has reached a point where your face could actually unlock a computer. Intel is on the forefront of that technology. But there is an alternative way. Meet Facelock,another password recognition system that is based on the psychology of facial recognition.

Facelock facial recognition

Image Credit: Professor Eszter Hargittai, Creative Commons

How Facelock Would Work

To use Facelock, researchers propose that users would flag a set of faces they know well — and faces others don’t know. Think ambiguously famous comedian.

To unlock the device, the user would then simply have to identify said face on a series of grids. The face would stick out to the password creator and fraudsters wouldn’t see a difference.

Says lead author, the University of York’s Rob Jenkins:

Pretending to know a face that you don’t know is like pretending to know a language that you don’t know—it just doesn’t work …The only system that can reliably recognize faces is a human who is familiar with the faces concerned.

In practice, the technology would work something like this:

  • You would choose a set of faces that are well known to you but not as well known to others.

  • These faces show up in a grid from which you must pick out the recognizable one.

  • While those who do not know the faces you chose will have difficulty picking the right one, you will be able to easily make the right choice.”

True Facial Recognition

Facial Recognition

Meanwhile, Intel spokesperson just announced that the company definitely will be adopting your face as a password. The firm in September 2014 announced its forward movement in the technology — and claimed that the tech would purge all passwords.

How? Simply look into your computer.

“Kirk Skaugen, senior VP of Intel PC clients group at Intel told CNBC that the company is currently working on a facial recognition system as security measure for its users that will replace the existing password system.

According to Skaugen, the system will enable users to log into their devices and websites using their face as an identity authentication tool.

You can see the full news update here, and watch the announcement below.

Video: Courtesy of CNBC.

Until now you could fool this facial recognition system by placing a photo of the owner in front of the device’s camera. To prevent this, you could use two factor authentication to ensure their important Windows login is secure. Intel FastAccess also lets device owners augment their face login with a pattern drawn by a fingertip, or by placing different color shapes in a particular order.

Are we moving into the “in your face” password era? PCs, tablets and smartphones are all capable of such technology, and it will certainly be less confusing than remembering a dozen different passwords.

For, I’m David Michaelis.

Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at