Japanese company has developed face recognition software for camera phones that it says can authenticate users within one second of clicking the shutter.This is very neat if true. It could be an inexpensive way to add biometrics to a lot of devices.
A still camera on a fixed workstation is of limited utility however. What would be very cool would be dynamic facial biometrics; an algorithm that worked based on how a face moves when speaking a passphrase. (The passphrase would be public, indeed it would be posted on the workstation.) I have a hunch that that biometric would work quite well.
But why do this instead of the still image? Because a video device on a fixed workstation has other uses -- especially when integrated with the very new standards for streaming audio and video. In a year or so we ought to have the ability to deliver quite decent videoconferencing at low costs to workstations. Combining biometrics with conferencing is a good business solution.
Another free business idea! Remember, you can't patent or copyright it now.