Facial Recognition 101: How It Works and Why You Want It

The newest Smartphones boast some seriously advanced features, including biometric facial recognition that sounds like something out of science fiction. But exactly how does facial recognition work, and what are the benefits for everyday Smartphone users? If the idea of your phone scanning your face is blowing your mind, read on to find out how it works and why you might want it on your next device.

How Does Facial Recognition Work?

“Biometrics” refers to data gathered from the human body, like a fingerprint or eye scan. Facial recognition is simply the newest biometric to be used as a Smartphone authentication factor.

So what is facial recognition? It’s been around a few years, and is probably more common than you realize. You may have noticed that many social networks automatically recognize you and your friends in photos. Casinos use facial recognition to catch cheaters, law enforcement already uses it worldwide and it’s becoming more and more common as a security protocol in personal devices – which is why you’re now seeing it in Smartphones.

Face scanning programs create a map of your face based on standard recognition points: at the inner and outer corners of the eye, along the jawline and at the corners of the mouth, to name a few. This standard map is projected onto your face, capturing its individual proportions based on factors such as the size of your mouth, the length of your jaw and the distance between your eyes and ears, The result is a map of your face that’s even more unique than a fingerprint.

Why Use Facial Recognition?

In short: it’s a good safety feature, it’s easy and it’s fast. Everyone’s face is different, so facial mapping is a unique physical feature, similar to a fingerprint – but even more secure and difficult to replicate. Your facial data is stored securely in your device, not on an external network, so your information stays safe. It’s also quick, intuitive and pretty cool to log on using your face, no passcode required.

Eventually, facial recognition technology may well become the norm. You’ll be able to use it to authenticate purchases and sign into apps as well as unlock your phone. And its most important applications may be yet to come.

To see all the newest Smartphones that offer facial recognition technology, shop U.S. Cellular.