When the iPhone X was released, it made headlines for its new face recognition feature. People were amazed by the feature and its ability to recognise a person’s face accurately. This new technology, called facial recognition, is being implemented in various industries. From consumer technology to security measures, facial recognition is changing how we identify individuals.
In this article, we will discuss how facial recognition works and how it can improve security measures. We’ll also introduce Udentify, a leading facial recognition software provider for security purposes.
What is facial recognition?
Before diving into the benefits and use cases of this cutting-edge technology, we need to understand the meaning of face recognition. Facial recognition is a biometric measurement of someone’s unique facial features.
Face recognition technology aims to accurately identify or verify a person’s identity. It pinpoints specific features and creates a unique mathematical representation. More on this in the next section.
In essence, it’s comparing a photo ID to someone’s face, but technically measuring and authenticating biometrics.
How does facial recognition work?
The working logic of face recognition systems is based on the ability to extract advanced facial features from an image, using biometric technology. Here are the four steps involved in face recognition technology:
First, the system must detect a face in the image. While that might sound easy for a human to do, we must remember that images are just pixels to a computer. However, artificial intelligence and deep learning have advanced face detection capabilities. You might have used face detection in action without realising it.
The facial recognition algorithms locate and isolate the face in the image, creating a bounding box around it. This process is crucial for accurate facial recognition. The system needs to focus on the face, not any objects or backgrounds in the image.
Once the system has a designated face in the image, it can begin facial analysis. Computer vision allows the system to analyse and extract the specific facial features that make each person unique. Using AI and machine learning, computers can achieve a level of accuracy and speed that far surpasses human capabilities.
The facial analysis identifies various aspects of the face. These include the shape of the eyes, nose, and mouth; the distance between certain features; and even skin texture. These advanced measurements create a unique facial signature for each person.
Converting the image to data
Next, facial recognition software converts this information into a mathematical representation, we call it a faceprint. This faceprint is what allows the system to compare and match an individual’s face with others in its database.
Faceprints will account for various features analysed in the previous section. Any changes in a person’s appearance will also be considered. That means even if someone grows a beard or dyes their hair, the facial recognition system can still identify them accurately.
Finding a match
Lastly, the facial recognition software will compare the faceprint to others in its database. This allows for verification of someone’s identity or identification if they are not already in the system’s records. In the context of security, this can help with access control or identifying wanted individuals.
For example, an individual uploads a form of government-issued identity document during registration. The system can then compare their faceprint with the photo on that ID for verification. As such, you’ll always need two or more reference images for accurate identification or verification.
Where is facial recognition mostly used?
Now that we understand how facial recognition works, let’s look at some real-world applications. As the world becomes increasingly digitised, many organisations find the need to implement robust yet seamless verification procedures. The use of facial recognition technology has grown rapidly in various industries, such as:
Many consumer electronic devices use facial recognition for user passwordless authentication. It allows individuals to easily access their personal devices without needing passwords or pins. While it offers new levels of convenience, it also does its part in improving security measures.
Facial recognition on consumer devices can also tie into other applications. We now use them for mobile payments or social media accounts. Authenticating the user’s identity this way provides protection against fraud and unauthorised transactions.
Facial recognition technology has become a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies. It helps police departments identify and track criminal suspects. One example is to compare photos or videos of suspects with government databases such as driver’s licenses or passport photos.
It can also assist in crowd surveillance by scanning large groups of people for possible matches in criminal databases.
Airports are notorious for long lines and slow security procedures. But facial recognition technology could potentially offer a solution. This technology can be used for efficient identity verification. It would eventually allow travellers to pass through customs without needing physical documents.
It can also play a crucial role in improving airport security. The technology can identify individuals on government watch lists or flag individuals with a history of suspicious behaviour.
Finding missing persons
Facial recognition technology can also assist in finding missing persons, whether it be a child who has run away or an elderly individual suffering from memory loss. The software can analyse and compare facial features to locate a match, even if the person’s appearance has changed.
In some cases, it can even assist in identifying unidentified remains by comparing them with missing person reports.
Reducing retail crime
Shoplifting has always been a major issue for retailers. Facial recognition technology offers a solution to reducing retail crime. Integrating this technology with security cameras can help to monitor known shoplifters. It could then alert store personnel.
In addition, it can also assist in fraud prevention. We can use it to verify the identity of customers in real-time.
Improving customer experiences
Facial recognition technology can also greatly enhance the customer experience in retail and banking settings. Personalised attention to customers can be improved as customer friction can significantly decrease. It can also analyse purchasing patterns to offer targeted promotions and advertisements.
Banking is one of those industries where security and verification procedures are crucial. Unfortunately, the days of a signature being enough to verify a person’s identity are long gone. Facial recognition technology can offer a solution by quickly authenticating customers during transactions. It can be done at physical bank branches or online banking platforms.
Marketing and advertising
Facial recognition can also be used in marketing and advertising to understand consumer behaviour. Analysing facial expressions can provide insight into how customers respond to certain ads. This can inform future marketing strategies and help improve the overall customer experience.
The current healthcare system relies heavily on physical forms of identification. Patients have to fill out countless reports and medical records. Face recognition offers the potential for a more efficient method of verifying identity. It improves the overall efficiency of healthcare facilities.
It can also help identify individuals with allergies or medical conditions during emergencies.
Monitoring gambling behaviour
Facial recognition can assist in monitoring gambling addictions. By identifying individuals who may be banned from certain establishments or flagging excessive spending patterns, businesses can take the necessary steps to prevent bad behaviour.
The potential uses for facial recognition technology are nearly limitless. From improving security measures to enhancing customer experiences, this technology offers exciting possibilities. Face recognition software can offer a solution whenever verification and identification are needed.
Advantages of face recognition
It’s important to remember that no solution is perfect. If we objectively look at both sides of the medal, there are both pros and cons to consider. Here are the advantages:
- Faster process
Facial recognition technology can significantly speed up the identification and verification process. Typing a password versus simply glancing at a camera is obviously much faster and more convenient. In the long run, these precious seconds add up.
- Improved user experience
It can be frustrating to carry around physical forms of identification constantly. Facial recognition technology offers a more convenient verification method. It greatly improves the overall user experience.
Passwords are infamous for being easily hackable and susceptible to breaches. Facial recognition presents a more secure solution, as a person’s face is much harder to duplicate or steal than a password.
In some industries, such as financial services, strict compliance regulations are in place. There are Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures. Facial recognition can assist in meeting these regulations without compromising user experience.
Disadvantages of face recognition
With great power comes great responsibility. While facial recognition can be used for the benefit of society, it also presents the potential for misuse and invasion of privacy. This technology can easily be used for mass surveillance, raising ethical concerns.
- Scope for error rates
Albeit improving every day, facial recognition technology is not yet infallible. There is still a very small possibility (<1%) for a false positive or false negative to occur, leading to potential consequences.
- Breach of privacy
Facial recognition technology allows for the storage and access of personal biometric data. This raises concerns about how this information is being used and who has access to it. However, we already trust companies with our personal information. But the idea of someone potentially accessing and misusing our biometric data can be unsettling.
- Massive data storage
Speaking of storage, facial recognition systems require massive amounts of data storage. This poses a potential security risk and raises concerns about the sustainability of such technology.
Our facial recognition security solution – Udentify
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive solution for your security needs, look no further than Udentify. Our biometric identification technologies offer convenience, accuracy, and compliance without compromising privacy. With the added option of liveness detection and multi-factor authentication, including voice recognition, Udentify provides a secure solution for any industry or application.
Our AI-powered technology is constantly learning with ML, ensuring top-notch performance. Plus, our SDK enables seamless integration with existing systems. It makes the transition to facial recognition smooth and efficient.
Don’t wait any longer to upgrade your security measures. Try Udentify today and offer your users a convenient and secure experience.