Facial Recognition (FR) – Its Progressive Uses
Initially developed to mitigate security risks, facial recognition now has many innovative uses, starting from social media to various convenient app integrations. Before we take a look at them, let me introduce you to the types of facial recognition.
- 2-D Facial Recognition matches photos for recognition by using measurements of nodal points. This requires the face to be forward facing and maintain a consistent composure, as well as lighting. As a result, it is not very effective.
- 3-D Facial Recognition uses depth measurement to record the distinctive curvature of the face. The benefit of this is that facial structure does not change much over time and can be detected in little lighting. It can detect the face from various angles. This makes recognition quite accurate and reliable.
- Biometric Facial Recognition uses algorithms to process a skinprint (a sample of the skin in the form of an image) and turn it into a mathematical space. Any distinguishing feature on the skin, such as its pores and texture, is then used for identification. The accuracy of this system is much higher, thus even allowing the recognition of identical twins.
Let us now take a look at the progressive uses of facial recognition.
FR was primarily conceived for security, to prevent the entry of unauthorized personnel in a restricted area, and to catch perpetrators of crime. To this day, this remains the most important domain for FR. We have all faced privacy breaches on our devices and social media accounts, sometimes by our very own friends and family. FR integrations are now actively preventing such breaches. For example, Snapchat is currently working on an integration that prevents the sharing of a person’s image, or covers the face with emoji, to ensure privacy.
iPhone is also working on using FR instead of passwords to unlock the device. The technology is gradually being applied to home security as well.
Universities now often use FR technology to automatically update attendance, saving time wasted in roll call. However, the automated attendance pales in comparison to other conveniences of using FR technology. Facebook has long used FR technology to recognize and suggest user tags on photos, and has received a lot of backlash due to the security threat it poses.
Not only that, Alibaba has been developing “Smile to Pay” to use FR technology so that all it takes is a face scan using the device’s camera, and your order is ready to be paid for. Mastercard has already released its “Selfie Pay” which essentially does the same. Although these convenient uses of the technology make the processes hassle free, there are serious security threats that may result if the systems are compromised.
It might shock you to know that churches now use FR to keep track of their attendees, and contact absentees. They may also use it to track regular worshippers so as to approach them for donations. Back in 2013, Tesco installed its OptimEyes Screens at the tills of the petrol stations which uses FR to run tailored ads based on the viewer’s detected age and gender from the camera.
Renowned hotels now employ FR so that concierges can remember customers and greet them with personalized attention. Disney cruise ships and theme parks use FR to conveniently sort out images of its passengers, photographed throughout the experience. The customer just has to use their ID at the kiosk to bring them up. This photo sorting technology is now also being used in some photo gallery apps.
Gamers may be excited to know that some companies are using the technology to read the player’s emotions and transfer it onto the character, bringing about a more realistic and personalised gaming experience.
FR technology has been helping to identify and control underage drinking customers as well as self proclaimed problematic gamblers. “Helping Faceless” is an initiative in India that uses FR to fight human trafficking, especially children. “Finding Rover” is another such app that helps find lost pets through the use of FR technology.
It is very evident that facial recognition technology is still evolving, and its potential is much more vast than what has been explored so far. Did you know that you too could be using this technology to enhance your application? Nascenia has recently used Face++, an api that can be integrated into your app that can enable you to offer similar services to the ones outlined so far.
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