Face verification: Visionics Corp.'s FaceIt
- By Michelle Speir
- Jun 05, 2000
For face verification, we looked at technology from Visionics Corp. However,
Visionics doesn't market a product directly, but licenses the technology
to various OEM integrators and partners such as BioNetrix Systems Corp.
and Keyware Technologies Inc. For our tests, we looked at the Visionics
technology used in the BioNetrix Authentication Suite.
Face verification can be used to log on to a PC or to access particular
applications. It has also been used for other applications such as border
control and keeping attendance.
The system works by analyzing particular features of the face, such
as the distance between the eyes and the nose, and the shape and location
of the cheekbones. Skin color and gender are not factors in the process,
and the technology is designed to compensate for glasses, hats and beards.
The enrollment process is quick and fairly simple. Users pose in front
of the camera until the window on the computer screen shows an acceptable
image of the entire face. Then they must click a button to begin capturing
images for enrollment. During this phase, users are instructed to vary the
angle of the face slightly. The camera rapidly takes nine images and displays
each of them in the enrollment window. The system then creates a facial
template and enrollment is complete. The entire process only takes a couple
Using face verification through BioNetrix is very easy. The application
is automatically activated when you attempt to log in or open an application
that requires face verification to enter. If you are within the camera's
range, recognition takes place in the blink of an eye. If there is a problem,
an on-screen window shows you the camera's image and you can adjust your
position until the software has a satisfactory view of you.
There is little to manage within the BioNetrix face recognition module
itself. A Setup Device Parameters window allows you to adjust the threshold
and set a user timeout, which is the time in which the user is allowed to
attempt authentication before the system times out.
We found the system to be very accurate when the threshold was set appropriately.
A very low threshold will result in false acceptance of nearly anyone who
attempts authentication. With a more secure threshold, however, even similar-looking
people could not authenticate with each other's identities.
Keep in mind that with face recognition, environmental factors play
a large role. You must have adequate lighting, and it's best to enroll yourself
in the same environment in which you'll be using the system.
Also, take note that the technology as configured by BioNetrix does
not yet work with Windows 2000. The BioNetrix Authentication Suite costs
between $70 and $250 per user.
For more information about Visionics, call (201) 332-9213.