Haven’t we seen devices that use this already? According to a recent patent granted to Apple, the company is interested in face detection and recognition technology that can be used as a security measure for Apple’s products.
The technology itself is nothing new, but it’s not clear if Apple would ever proceed with this, or if it just wants to grab patents for possible technology. One interesting thing, however, is the idea of using it to black out the screen during incoming calls. If the person authorized to use the handset is in front of it, the iPhone will display all the relevant information onscreen (who’s calling, callback, answer, etc.). It it’s someone who’s not authorized, the iPhone won’t display that information.
It would be neat if combined with other security methods. In our own tests with smartphones, we’ve found that simply having a clear photo of the user’s face is enough to bypass the device’s security.