Making a duck face at your phone could be used to check your vital signs, assess whether someone is into you and even unlock your bank account, a study has found.

Research from Futurizon asked 6500 participants to assess possible uses for the selfie.

Report author and futurist Dr Ian Pearson said that selfies, often seen as vain, have huge potential.

"The results clearly show that selfies are well on their way to transitioning from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, and provide food for thought to a number of industries," he said.

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The research, conducted for Sony Mobile, found some people even thought their banking could be made more secure using selfies, with particular hand gestures or winks adding another layer of security.

A quarter of those surveyed said they would prefer to video call a doctor than visit a clinic. Selfies could be used y doctors to remotely assess and diagnose patients.

Similarly vital signs could be checked during dates, with pupil dialation indicating attraction.

Selfies could also benefit home security, the report found, by unlocking monitored doors.

Dr Pearson said that with an average person taking 40 selfies a month, the technology could develop within the next 5 years.

"I think it will certainly make it easier for companies to launch selfie-based security systems if they know there is likely to be public acceptance, so they might well bring forward plans to do so knowing that that barrier has already been circumvented," he said.