A solution to an overblown problem?

I remember when I had Microsoft’s facial recognition shown to be for the first time.  It was to log onto Windows on a laptop.  It had to take 30-45 seconds while the person tilted and moved their head around in order to get it recognized.

Of course, that was a couple of years ago and I’m sure that the concept is much improved.  We’re now starting to see this sort of biometrics recognition in more places.  Perhaps even more common than facial recognition is fingerprint recognition to log in.

I’ve had a couple of devices that use fingerprint recognition to log in.  I’ve done the tutorials to train the device and tested it.  Then I’ll use it to log in and it works smoothly.

Then something bizarre happens.  A couple of days later I try again and it doesn’t work immediately.  So, I typically move my finger around until I do get it to work.  I’ve followed the instructions and added a couple of fingers in case … well, I don’t want to think about it.

Then, it always seems to happen that the device stops recognizing it.  Why?  Well, I do know that one time it was because I had a cut on the finger or at least that’s my excuse.  Another time I was wearing a bandage – should have gone with the alternate finger.

The key, ultimately, is in control.  I’ve got to have the control and the stick-to-it-ive-ness to make it work.  After all, the reader is a certain size and my finger is definitely bigger and needs to be placed appropriately in order to work.

But, like the facial recognition and getting the finger right, I’m usually in a hurry to log in and just swipe the login pattern or type the code.  Or even better, I have my devices in proximity to each other and just log in automatically.

Developers seem to be bent on adding these feature to protect us.  From what?  Weak passwords, I guess.  In the meantime, weak passwords make for some fun like what Saturday Night Live did recently.

If it ever gets running quickly, smoothly, and reliably, it might be our future.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact though that these devices are personal devices and the biometrics logins are easily handled when there might be you and a couple of other users on the device.

I shudder when I think of how it might be seen to roll out to education where students and teachers are using school devices.  Where does biometrics fit in there?  You’re not guaranteed to be sitting at the same piece of technology time after time.  I’ve yet to see a network solution!  Maybe there’s an opportunity for a developer here?

How about you?

Do you use this technique to log in to your device(s)?  Where do you see it going?  Where do you see it going in education?

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

3 thoughts on “A solution to an overblown problem?”

  1. Your school question here is HUGE, Doug! I know that all of our kids share devices. How do we get past this problem? I like the code typing option.


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  2. I can never get it to for more than a day or two, and I’ve decided to stop trying. But Google photos automatically recognizes all the people in my photos now. It even recognizes people I’ve only taken a few pictures of and automatically asks if they should be “tagged”. It’s creepy, and useful!

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  3. Aviva, one of the solutions that I’ve been reading about recently is a device that you plug into your USB port to authenticate yourself. Of course, it only works when you don’t lose it or leave it at home. That pretty much excludes education!

    Lisa, we’re on the same page here. Growing up, I don’t think I ever thought that I’d see creepy and useful in the same sentence but the description fits perfectly.

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