Using your face, thumb, or finger to unlock a piece of tech has become fairly commonplace in the last decade. With facial recognition systems becoming evermore ‘aware’ it’s also becoming more secure.
That said, would you feel comfortable and confident leaving your bike locked and parked up, knowing that the same technology is the only thing preventing it from being unlocked, started and ridden away?
It’s a question bikers might want to ask themselves quite soon, as BMW is launching the new technology on some of its bikes later this year. The system is called iFace and uses a couple of different systems to unlock and turn on your bike. The first is a system that uses stripe projection to build a 3D map of the rider’s facial features, and it’s used when no helmet is being worn. This system builds a virtual model of the user’s face in three dimensions, taking into account depth and contour.
The second method is for unlocking the bike when the rider is wearing a helmet, and it uses infrared iris-cornea scanning. To get around tinted visors, sunglasses and contact lenses, the system is stated to be equipped with a polarisation filter, allowing it to cut through dark-coloured glass and plastic to view the rider’s peepers. Moreover, because both the system mentioned, both helmet on and off, utilise infrared, the facial recognition system will work in any light conditions, even total darkness.
The BMW system can also be set up to include notifications sent to the rider to tell them if some scallywag is trying to start their bike – like the two-wheeled equivalent of a Ring doorbell grassing up your neighbour when they’ve nicked your Amazon parcel!