capsule review

Luxand Blink!

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Luxand Blink!

Luxand Blink! is a free product from Luxand, a maker of facial recognition and image editing software. What Blink! does is allow a PC equipped with a webcam to scan your face during the login process. If it matches a previously saved template, it will allow you to login by facial recognition instead of password.

I tested it out on my own face, and then tested it using a variety of other faces, and even a headshot photo of myself. Luxand Blink correctly allowed me to login with only my real-life face and no other. You'll know it's working when a green square appears around your face and holds steady for a few seconds, followed by a successful login.

Luxand Blink is most useful on laptops with built-in Webcams, or on desktop PCs with cameras that are almost always mounted above the monitor (rather than a stand-up Webcam that might be next to the laptop or on the desk). I noticed that the user must look directly at the camera with eyes open for it to scan correctly. Looking down or away from the camera won't activate it.

Note that Luxand Blink does not replace the password. You're still able to login that way. It just offers an alternate method. Luxand Blink also won't fail out regardless of the number of attempts; It will just keep sitting there with camera on, draining the laptop's battery, until you either type a password or show it a face it recognizes. It also takes occasional snapshots of attempts and saves them in its History. It would be nice if you could set up a fixed number of failed attempts before the camera shuts itself off at login, and it would be nice if you could turn off and on or even clear the login history. Also, the ability to disable passwords and use only Luxand Blink to login would be welcome.

Despite a few wish list features, Luxand Blink works very well. It's also kind of futuristic, so it's fun for those who want to show off a high-tech login ability (even cooler than fingerprints). Those who want an extra layer of security when they log in should also check out Luxand Blink.

Note: Luxand Blink! works only with 32-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7. The developer promises a 64-bit update soon.

--Steve Horton

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Luxand Blink!

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