Humans have always had the special ability to recognize and distinguish between faces. Recently, computers have shown this capability. Facial recognition is a biometric technology that identifies an individual by comparing live capture or digital data with his/her stored information. It maps a person’s facial features and stores the data as a faceprint. The technology makes use of deep learning algorithms to compare a live image to the stored data in a database to authenticate an individual’s identity. Facial recognition has gained a high importance among the popularly used applications of image processing in the recent years. The technology is a great solution to address several needs for identification and verification. In addition, facial recognition is preferred over other biometric technologies such as iris recognition, fingerprint scanning, voice recognition, and more. It finds application in the civil and law enforcement sector, security related to electronic transactions and access control, ambient intelligence including smart homes and natural human-machine interaction, wearable systems such as memory aids, and entertainment such as interactive movies. At present, the technology is mainly used for security and marketing purpose.
The rise in terrorist attacks on government organizations in the recent years is compelling organizations and governments to implement the facial recognition technology. Moreover, due to growing concerns regarding data integrity and security, consumers are becoming more conscious about sharing their information. Therefore, several countries are now adopting the facial recognition technology.
For instance, Singapore recently announced that it plans to turn on facial recognition technology for more than 100,000 lampposts with the intention to assist authorities to identify faces in crowds across the city. The project named Lamppost-as-a-Platform is part of the city’s ‘Smart Nation’ plan to use cutting-edge technology to enhance the lives of its people. In February 2018, AirAsia, a Malaysian airline unveiled the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES), which employs facial recognition technology to enable passengers to board their flights faster. The company said that FACES has an 80% identification success rate and reduces the time for boarding process significantly. The feature was introduced at Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. China is another country that is speeding ahead with the technology. It recently announced that several of its airports had been equipped with facial recognition technology. Cameras at 557 security channels capture images of faces and scan their passports or ID cards for verification of their identity. Moreover, facial recognition is being adopted by traffic management authorities in several cities in China to catch and publicly shame jaywalkers. Furthermore, the Wuhan railway station in China has 32 facial recognition devices installed to accelerate the process of checking tickets.
Recently, there have been several launches related to the facial recognition technology by companies worldwide. Panasonic Corporation, Japanese multinational launched FacePRO deep learning facial recognition system with a core engine at ISC West, the largest US security event. The facial recognition engine received a high score in NIST IJB-A testing in 2017. The product features recognition of faces captured at 45-degree side-angles or 30-degree vertical angles, as well as those partially hidden, such as by sunglasses. Its other features include iA or intelligent auto mode, which adjusts camera settings to optimize for facial recognition. The Best Shot technology of FacePRO works with Panasonic i-PRO EXTREME series network cameras to reduce network and server loads by sending only the suitable images for identification of faces. SensibleVision, a provider of face recognition solutions recently announced the latest iteration of its facial recognition technology called 3DSafe. It features a rapid-screening approach which offers enhanced face authentication-based security leveraging patented AI-driven software.