Monday, February 04, 2008

Free Facial Recognition Software: LemonScreen

Security has become increasingly important nowadays. What we previously see on science fiction movies are now being implemented for real, i.e. fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, voice recognition and even eye recognition. However, as for facial recognition, this technology is still pretty new and the current capability of hardware and software don't really do justice to the possible potential of this technology.

Aspiring programmers can visit the libface project homepage to find out more about how to implement facial recognition functions yourselves. Anyway, I have the privilege to test out my first facial recognition software today, it is LemonScreen version 1.30 (yes, I'll like to do a review because it is my first facial recognition software). It is a software that will lock your computer screen when you are away from your computer and the way to unlock it is by scanning your face with your webcam.

LemonScreen was previously known as BananaScreen, it is a free software, you don't have to pay a single cent for it. I really don't mean to intrude, but I can't help it but to wonder, why such strange names? I wonder what the development team did with their screen or what did they try to display on screen. Perhaps they should read my post Choose Names Wisely! Right let's continue with the program then. LemonScreen can be used on WindowsXP webcam-enabled computer. When you first use it, you will be able to type a master password, in case LemonScreen locks your computer and it is unable to recognize your face to unlock your computer again. You will also have to create a face model, so that anyone's face in front of the webcam can be compared with the face model when your computer is locked. This program can bet set-up to lock your computer after a predefined time of inactivity or the locking feature can be activated manually with mouse or keyboard shortcut Alt+L. If you are feeling adventurous, go straight to LemonScreen's site to download and try it out yourself!

I must add though, that the security provided by LemonScreen is not foolproof (yeah, what is?) and it is not even reliable enough to be able to recognize your face all the time. The recognition capability is of course, influenced by factors such as quality of webcam, amount of lighting, etc. As you can see from the picture above, my 2 year old webcam costing about $15 still works pretty decently with this program. [*Ehmm, wondering whether exposing part of my face will provide me with the chance of knowing single lady suitor aged about 20 before the looming February 14th Valentine's Day?*]

Using this software reminds of a Hong Kong Cantonese movie I watched when I was a child, its name is Security Unlimited (1981) starring Michael Hui Koon-Man and his brothers, Sam and Ricky. Michael's character is a security bodyguard who is entrusted for the security of an artifact exhibition museum, the most advanced security feature he used is a voice-activated safe door, and the voice password incidentally is the imitation of a horse's neigh. To cut a long story short, he eventually faced plenty of troubles with the safe door when he could not reproduce the same voice password (if my memory doesn't fail me, his throat was attacked by some robbers). This actually illustrates the drawback of certain security systems, i.e. a good key-based security system has to be durable and secure while its key has to be non-obvious and reproduceable (where else human voice is impression based, hard to reproduce, not stable as is the current implementation of facial recognition in this program) . I would very much like to include here Michael Hui's imitation of a horse' neigh, but unfortunately I could not find anywhere on the Internet, I hope any reader who has the DVD can help me to rip the imitation and send it to me so that I could update this post (hint, it's funny!). Right, I have drag on too much, yet again, my apology, signing off here then.
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BobbyT said...

I realize that many people had read this post but so far nobody has commented yet. Is this article useful for you? What particular information are you looking for? Perhaps you could leave your comment here, and I could update this post with that information or write another article about facial recognition technology.

shanker Bakshi said...

Great Post again, Facial recognition is a new phenomenon hitting software market, a range of laptop in India advertising these about this new technique of face recognition which unlock your laptop.

Don’t worry your post is informative and complete in all sense. Good job done. Keep Rocking :-)

Check this out , they try match your face with a celebrity . said...

Muy bueno el artículo, Bobby.
Yo tengo instalado hace 1 año Bananascreen, ¿me puedes decir que diferencia hay entre Bananascreen y Lemonscreen?.

¿Son compatibles ambos programas en el mismo PC)?

Te agradecería que me respondieras.

BobbyT said...

I could read your comment, thanks to Google Translate. For others, his comment is in Spanish, and it translates to:

------ start of translation ----
Very good article, Bobby.
I have installed 1 year ago Bananascreen, I can say that the difference between Bananascreen and Lemonscreen?.

Are these two programs on the same PC)?

I would appreciate if you respond.
Thank you
--------- end of translation ----

Those 2 programs are the same, they share the same developer. I believe LemonScreen is the new name chosen for the program while BananaScreen was the old name. Both of them works on PC.

John said...

This type of software is amazing to me. Even when I have watched casino's try and catch the bad guys, it blows my mind they can match faces in such a large database.

This is a nice informative post, Bobby.

Anonymous said...

Hello Bobby,

nice article and I guess I will give the programm a try.
Just a quick comment on the second question of which hasn't really been answered yet.
He was actually asking if you could run both programs at the same time on the same computer.

I guess he wants to make sure that it least one of them will recognise his face. ;-)
But to be serious I guess it is a valid question if it is possible to run them both for a test without having to uninstall one of them.

Thanks again for the information and good luck with your blog.


BobbyT said...

Hey Max,

I think it makes no sense to install both of them together on a PC.

I suppose LemonScreen will work better because it is the newer supported version but opinions may differ.

If you are afraid you cannot unlock your PC, be sure to test a few times with a photograph of yours, I heard it works :)

railroad companies said...

that is very nice looking site.

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