IWAGU is pronounced as: ‘I Wag You’ and stands for Identification by Webcam And Gesture Utilization. Not to be confused with ‘I kill you’. Lawrence Lessig mentions in his ‘Code V2’ the ‘architectures of identification’. He (Lessig 2006 p.42) states that we constantly are negotiating processes of authentication in real life, and in this process, better technologies and better credentials enable more distant authentication. In real space anonymity has to be created, in cyberspace anonymity is the given (Lessig 2006 p.45).
Contemporary methods of negotiating ones true identity is established by methods as fingerprint reading and password recognition. CAPTCHA is a contemporary technique to make sure that the object of identification is human not a computer program. This process is based on the underdeveloped property of computer programs to interpret images. We, as humans, are perfectly able to extract text from gibberish. As far as one is able to see and is able to distinguish colors.
I would suggest IWAGU as a (new?) method for identification. As far as I am concerned this concept doesn’t exist yet. It should be a fairly simple method to integrate into the daily life of the computer user (PC, MAC, smart phone) and the contemporary verification software. In the next scenario, I will try to explain the workings of this concept.
Imagine you turn on the computer (PC, MAC or smart phone) and after the operating system is loaded the system asks you to sit still and mimic a random gesture. You raise your right hand and show three fingers, just as the system would ask. Now the system uses the webcam to capture in high resolution your face accompanied by your gesture. Next, it determines your identity by comparing the distinct features of your face with the identifying features stored in the system’s database. (The technique to abstract the distinctive facial features is not yet determined. Maybe we can be inspired by Ed Ulbrich’s method.) The random gesture is to make sure this image capture is live and not a recording. After the required gesture is also confirmed positive, you will be able to get access to your personal files. If you’re trying to login to a website, this procedure will be repeated.
Advantage of IWAGU:
One of the advantages of this system compared to a biometric fingerprint is the fact that most of us have a video recording device (webcam) and a few of us have a fingerprint reader on the computer. This procedure will only take a few seconds.
Disadvantage of IWAGU:
Not all devices are capable of capturing video. My iPhone does have a camera, but it is not capable of recording video. Ones, every computer is connected to a video camera, then, this concept is likely to work.
The recording of biometric information linked to an individual is fairly controversial. Thus, privacy is an issue. To overcome this issue, it’s necessary to make this personal information accessible to the person who it belongs to. But, then we are back to where we came from, because how do we now for sure that your are the person you claim to be…
For now, this method of negotiating identification or IWAGU beta is perfectly as an alternative or an addition for contemporary identification methods.