Apple iPhone owners attempting to access their device could be presented with a contact list quiz rather than a passcode request.
Users can prevent prying eyes from looking at their text messages and so on by setting a four-digit security number, which must be input every time the handset is unlocked.
However, a patent put forward by the American manufacturer suggests that the gadget lovers could instead be asked to identify images of people in their phonebook.
Those who match the correct name would be granted access to the handset, as success suggests that this is the owner.
Implementation of this feature in future versions of iOS may lower the chance of thieves or nosey friends accessing private information, thus providing added peace of mind.
Some Google Android smartphones are equipped with Face Unlock software, which works with the front camera to recognise the user and permit access to those previously verified.
Posted by Claire Marshall