The company Animetrics has recently released an application for the iPhone that uses facial recognition to identify people based on a centralized database.

iFace uses standard internet protocols to send facial imagery to the Animetrics Face Identity Management System (FIMS) server to be evaluated.  According to Animetric’s website the phone is utilized for two things:

1) as an interface to a biometrics identification system for use by security, including law enforcement, military and private security; and
2) as an entertaining “biometric game” assessing a person’s similarity to popular celebrities and famous people.

This program can give law enforcement the ability to capture suspects facial image and compare to a database on-the-fly.  It can also be applied to surveillance equipment to help merchants identify shoplifters or other known criminals to get them captured quicker.

iFace is currently being evaluated by the national Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and DARPA for use by the military, and both parties have nothing but good things to say about how it performs.