Facial recognition – the software that maps, analyses, and then confirms the identity of a face in a photograph or video – is one of the most powerful surveillance tools ever made. While many people interact with face recognition merely as a way to unlock their phones or sort their photos, how companies and governments use it will have a far greater impact on people’s lives.
But how does face recognition software work, and how can it be useful for your company? Well, let’s find out now.
How face recognition software works
Most people have seen face recognition used in movies for decades, but it’s rarely depicted correctly. Every facial recognition system works differently, often built on proprietary algorithms, but you can sort out the process into three basic categories.
Detection is the process of finding a face in an image. If you have ever used a camera that detects a face and draws a box around it to auto focus, you have seen this technology in action. On its own, it is not nefarious – face detection only focuses on finding a face, not the identity behind it.
Analysis is the step that maps faces – often by measuring the distance between the eyes, the shape of the chin, the distance between the nose and mouth – and then converts that into a string of numbers or points, often called a “faceprint”. Instagram or Snapchat filters use similar technology. Although analysis can suffer from glitches, particularly involving misidentification, that is generally problematic only when the faceprint is added to a recognition database.
Recognition is the attempt to confirm the identity of a person in a photo. This process is used for verification, such as in a security feature on a newer smartphone, or for identification, which attempts to answer the question “who is in the picture?”.
Pros of Face Recognition Software
Advocates of facial recognition suggest that the software is useful because alongside identifying suspects, it can monitor known criminals and help identify child victims of abuse. In crowds, it could monitor for suspects at large events and increase security at airports or border crossings. The most long running type of facial recognition software runs a photo through a government controlled database, such as the FBI’s database of over 400 million photos, which includes driver’s licenses from some states, to identify a suspect. Local police departments use a variety of facial recognition software, often purchased from private companies.
To add to this, there is a long list of benefits facial recognition can offer outside of law enforcement such as adding convenience or security to everyday things and experiences. Facial recognition is helpful for organising photos, useful in securing devices like laptops and phones, and beneficial in assisting blind and visually impaired communities. It can be a more secure option for entry into places of business, fraud protection at ATMs, event registration, or logging in to online accounts. Advertising and commercial applications of facial recognition promise a wide array of supposed benefits, including tracking customer behaviour in a store to personalise ads online.
So, now you know how facial recognition can be useful to you in many ways, but what if you are in need of a facial recognition software yourself? Then make sure to get in touch with Computime Systems today at 01138680124.