Smartphones are rapidly taking over some daily functions previously dominated by our laptops and personal computers, so securing these mobile devices is becoming an increasingly important issue. Information thieves are after your data via malicious software from which you can reasonably protect yourself by being careful; but what about physical device thieves?
There have been a few solutions, such as the native lock screen options (particularly in Froyo) and various remote lock/wipe/track apps, such as WaveSecure, but a new solution is about to become available – BioLock, a biometric security app from Blue Planet Apps.
BioLock provides three levels of security, and you can use as many or as few as you’d like at once. One is simply a PIN, while the other two make sure no one but you can access your phone. The iris scan mode uses the camera on your phone (front-facing or regular) to recognize your eye, while the facial recognition mode does exactly what you would expect – uses your face to unlock the phone.
According to the application author, in case someone were to try to unlock the phone using a picture of you with facial recognition, it wouldn’t work - the app can determine if the face is real or not based on whether it is blinking or not, as well as several other factors. The app also takes facial features that can change, such as a beard or mustache, into account.
What if someone steals your phone while it isn’t locked? To handle this case, BioLock allows you to protect specific apps, contacts, or data using the same methods we just discussed. If you’re a security nut or simply have a lot of important personal data stored on your phone, BioLock may be the perfect solution.
When And How Much
A private beta of BioLock is expected within the next 2 weeks. When the beta period ends, BioLock will move to the Android Market with a ballpark price of around $2.99 and a 14 day trial, Jason, the app's creator, told us in an email exchange (subject to change).
To see if the app can really do what it promises to do and do it well, we will be taking the beta for a spin as soon as it becomes available and reporting right back. The idea is quite intriguing but we are wondering how accurate the recognition will be and just how fast a scan will be possible, considering it takes a bit to load the camera. Watch this space for our review in the near future.
Bonus: for added awesomeness, check out this tweet: