written by: George Garza•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 2/2/2011
Mobile phones suffer from a security problem. Once the phone is lost or stolen, then the finder or thief has access to the phone, the apps, and any private information that may be stored on there. However, the BioLock app will alleviate some of those problems with a facial recognition-locking program.
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What is Biometrics?
Biometrics is a method of identifying individuals based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
When used in computer science, it has different dimensions. For one, it is a form of identity access management and secondly it is a form of access control. This means that it will identify individuals, and give or deny permission to access devices, or areas.
Two characteristics make it applicable for security. There is the physiological element, which relates to the shape of the body. For example, physiological biometrics include fingerprints, facial recognition, DNA analysis, palm print, hand geometry, and iris recognition.
The second kind is behavioral biometrics related to the behavior of a person. For example, typing rhythm, gait, voice, and handwriting. Another term used by some researchers is behaviometrics.
Developed by Blue Planet Apps, the BioLock app will use facial and iris recognition algorithms to identify a user. It will also be able to identify someone with facial hair. Also, if someone is showing your picture to the camera, it will distinguish the picture from the real image of you.
So how does it work?
BioLock adds two new features. One is Iris scan to authenticate the user, and facial recognition to unlock the phone. However, in order to utilize this, the smartphone will need to be equipped with a front facing camera to capture users’ appearance.
BioLock uses military grade algorithms to accomplish face modeling. In this way, the program evokes methods of blink detection and pupil dilation, which photos of the phone's owner can't bypass. The application can also lock specific areas of a user's phone. For example, try to open your banking app, this triggers the BioLock program and requires your authentication.
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Operating System Access
One of the algorithms that is used in BioLock requires access to the Operating System. Apparently, both Microsoft and Google were responsive to the suggestion to let an algorithm access the OS to make the biometric system operational. but this was not so with Apple. It was clear that it was not possible to access the OS, so this app will not appear on the iPhone any time soon, at least not in its current format. This may explain why the app is taking so long for delivery to the pubic.
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This app has been in Beta now for close to a year. Apparently this program still needs refinement. My decision to say that I don't recommend this product is based on availability. It is supposed to do many wonderful things, but right now, it doesn't do any.
See Also: The Android BioWallet App Offers Biometric Protection to Secure Your Phone
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Downloads: According to their website: "At the current moment (2/2011) the application is available only for partners and press. Please contact email@example.com to establish connection with us and get access to the application. Thanks."