Front-facing cameras will no longer serve exclusively as tool for self-portrait or, as some observers put it, for the vain and the narcissists. Its popularity has prompted companies to find actual use for it as evidenced in the applications developed by the likes of MasterCard, Uber and HSBC.
The state of the selfie camera's technology today is largely attributed to the manner by which smartphone manufacturers try to outdo each other by outfitting their smartphones with increasingly cutting-edge selfie cameras. The emerging imaging capability, coupled with the camera's position in front of mobile devices, became the bases for applications like the Identity Check Mobile app that MasterCard will fully implement next year.
This app will effectively replace passwords with selfie photos. Here, consumers could store their photo in a dedicated MasterCard encrypted server. This image will then become the basis of a new authentication system that will only require the consumer to look at the selfie camera to initiate or complete an online credit card transaction.
"The introduction of this technology will increase security when making payments that don't include a face-to-face interaction, and will be integrated seamlessly for easy use in reducing the likelihood of a card being used by anyone who is not the cardholder," MasterCard said in a press statement.
Uber has also jumped on the bandwagon. As Tech Times previously reported, the ride-sharing company began requiring its drivers to take a selfie before logging in to the system and taking ride request. The feature, which uses Microsoft Cognitive Services, seeks to guarantee the protection of the driver's identity and Uber account while also ensuring passenger safety.
A sophisticated selfie system is also now being used by British bank HSBC. The technology can evaluate details such as jaw, nose and other facial features. The data is converted into a set of codes that is then evaluated against an image stored in its database. An individual, for example, can open an account using a selfie, which is compared to a driver's license or a copy of an ID uploaded to the bank's server.
Certainly, the current selfie-based security app technologies are still getting developed and tested. This means that passwords or fingerprints are still not going away anytime soon, but as selfie cameras become more sophisticated and dedicated security apps evolve accordingly, then there is the possibility that people will no longer have to worry about creating complex passwords or forgetting them because it could very well become obsolete.