Driver's license, credit cards, keys. These are objects all of us carry, yet ironically they are all unique, personalized to us. They all link to our identity. You enter your apartment via a mechanism that prevents others from entering when you're not there. You are allowed to walk out of a supermarket laden with food because a card reader subtracted the value from your bank account. You are allowed through the security checkpoint because your license proves that that is your airplane ticket. But if a Finland-based company called Uniqul has their way, these identity-proving intermediaries could become obsolete.
Uniqul's facial recognition technology is apparently good enough—and safe enough, employing "military grade algorithms"—that their system would enable you to conduct transactions with nothing more than your face. We've all lost or forgotten wallets and keys, but it's tough to leave your grill on the dresser or have it removed from your person (outside of a John Woo movie, anyway). Here's how they envision it working:
You've probably heard American actors or models—people who earn their living by having pretty mugs—jokingly and slangily referring to their face as "the cash register." Perhaps that phrase will make its way into Finnish, as Uniqul will shortly be deploying the system in Helsinki.