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Scientists Tout 3-D Facial Recognition

The future of password protection could be here soon, scientists from the University of Houston claim, if a "radically new approach to biometrics" comes to fruition. University of Houston Eckhard Pfeiffer Professor Ioannis Kakadiaris and his Computational Biomedicine Lab promise great things with their facial recognition project, dubbed URxD; the program reportedly uses a 3-D snapshot of a human's face to generate a unique biometric identifier. According to the team, URxD's uses run the gamut from everyday to ultra-confidential; be it paying for groceries to gaining access to secret facilities, URxD fits the bill. The verification process allegedly is as easy as easy as taking a photograph.

"Accuracy is the name of the game in 3-D face recognition," Kakadiaris said. "What makes our system so accurate is the strength of the variables that we use to describe a person's face. Remembering dozens of personal identification numbers and passwords is not the solution to identity theft. PINs and passwords are not only inconvenient to memorise, but also are impractical to safeguard. In essence, they merely tie two pieces of information together; once the secret is compromised, the rest follows. The solution is to be able to tie your private information to your person in a way that cannot be compromised."

While the promises are huge, only the real-world can ultimately decide whether this program fulfills lives up to its ambitions.

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