How much time is wasted on creating, managing, remembering, inevitably forgetting, and then resetting a password for your internet-based logins?
If Apple and Google have their way, that question may soon be a thing of the past.
The Times of India reports that both companies are working on more sophisticated and personal ways for users to log in to their various accounts, using facial recognition instead of an input character set.
Last week, Apple applied for a patent in the United States for technology called "Low Threshold Face Recognition."
"Using a forward-facing camera to recognize an individual user, future iPhones and iPads from Apple could automatically customize applications, settings, and features to a user's personal preferences once they pick up the device," explains Apple Insider.
The patent differs from most current facial recognition, which can be a drain on the battery, by focusing on a "high information portion" of a user's face rather than their entire mug. In particular, the device will measure the distance between their eyes and mouth to confirm the user’s identity, giving new meaning to the phrase, "You're holding it wrong."
Meanwhile, Google's Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") comes equipped with face-recognition technology that unlocks a phone by detecting a user's face through its front-facing camera.
However, as PC Mag reports, the technology in its current form is actually less secure than a character-based PIN or password, as one blogger actually unlocked a Samsung Galaxy Nexus using a photograph of the user.