A research team at York University in the UK has found that face recognition security on smartphones can be significantly improved if users store an 'average' photo of themselves.The Department of Psychology's FaceVar laboratory, led by Dr David Robertson, has uncovered that combining different pictures of the user, rather than a single 'target' image, leads to much better recognition across all kinds of daily settings. The research is published in the journal PLOS ONE.Researchers examined the performance of the 'face unlock' system on Samsung Galaxy phones. They found that the system was generally very good at rejecting imposters, but that it often failed to recognize the genuine owner too.But performance could be greatly improved, often to perfect levels, if users stored an 'average' of their own photos – formed by morphing together several different photos of the user.Dr Robertson said, 'We chose to study the Samsung Galaxy because it is a very popular phone which comes with working face recognition technology. However, we expect this technique to work across a wide range of phones and other automated recognition devices. It is very interesting that performance can be so much improved by copying a simple trick performed by the brain.”