I was reading what Windows 8 is supposed to have in its next version a few days ago. To me the most exciting feature (which I hope that Apple will adopt) is facial recognition, allowing the user to be logged into their computer before they sit down to use it—without a password! This isn’t a new feature, it’s been done before, but it has to be done correctly (good facial recognition software cannot simply compare pictures, it’s better to use lasers and make calculations on facial dimensions, otherwise this commercial wouldn’t make sense).

Of course there are a lot of questions about this technology: What if you’re wearing sunglasses one day? What if you’re in a disfiguring car crash? What if you have an evil twin (or someone who looks a lot like you)? What if you are the evil twin and you want to keep that annoying guy with a conscience out of your business? Methinks that an appropriately accurate algorithm can compensate for some of these things, but may not account for others.

Problems aside, as I was thinking about how nice it would be to forget about using passwords and simply be logged in I thought of all the great things that could implement this technology. Imagine lastpass, 1Password, or another password manager knowing it is you that is sitting in front of your computer and retrieving passwords (for sites that aren’t implementing the latest facial recognition technology yet). What if, instead of keys to open our car locks and home doors we simply had to approach and it would unlock (it would make hauling in the groceries even easier if the door would open for you as you approached). What if instead of remembering PINs for your debit cards the ATM or kiosk at the store simply knew that it was you? Wouldn’t that be awesome!?

I hope that someday soon we will see some of these things, in the mean time I guess I’ll have to remember passwords, carry keys, and look forward to a brighter future.

What are your thoughts? What other uses do you foresee as an awesome implementation of facial recognition technology?