Omron Designs Facial ID Software for Mobile Phone Handsets

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Omron Corp. (6645), a leading manufacturer of automated control equipment, has developed facial recognition software to identify mobile phone holders via the handset's camera, company officials said.

The software, designed to prevent unauthorized use of a mobile phone, scans the face in about 0.6 seconds and unlocks the handset once a positive identification is made.

Dubbed Okao Vision, the software can identify the genuine holder with an accuracy rate of over 99%, by comparing the facial features with those of a photo taken and registered in advance, the officials claimed.

The company developed similar software in February, which takes about one second to identify the user. For the new product, it shortened the time to two-thirds, by improving the algorithms, and improved the accuracy by increasing the number of scanned facial features to 200 from 80.

The previous software was adopted by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (6752) for some of its handsets. Omron is set to market the new one to a wide range of handset manufacturers and telecom companies.

(c) 2005 Nihon Keizai Shimbun America, Inc.