Pros and Cons of  Facial Recognition Technology For Your Business

Facial Recognition Tech

In this era of cruel business competition, it’s essential to keep your enterprise premises highly protected by investing in the right security technology. Good old method of hiring a security team is still working, but there are more modern ways that we recommend you pay attention to. One of the most promising is a face detection technology mixed with the existing practices that allows saving a budget while improving a security level.

Just recently TecSynt finished working on biometric facial recognition tech for a new mobile app, so we decided to talk about things that you were afraid to ask. What are the benefits and the doubts, and where it is being successfully used?

What is Facial Recognition Technology. Behind the Curtain

It’s the fastest biometric technology that has one and only purpose – to identify human faces. Forget about fingerprints readers and eye scanners, current face recognition systems analyze the characteristics of a person's face images that were taken with a digital video camera. It’s the least intrusive method that provides no delays and leaves the subjects entirely unaware of the process.

Behind the Curtain

Various distinguishable landmarks of facial features are measured by facial recognition tech (FRT) from approximately 80 nodal points, creating a faceprint – a numerical code. Some of these features include length of the jawline, cheekbones shape, distance between the eyes and the depth of the eye sockets, and the nose width. The measurements gathered by the system are then put in a database and compared to other detected faces when a certain person stands before the camera.

In short, the use of facial recognition software allows your CCTV security algorithms trigger an alert when it identifies particular individuals from a hit list. It is an irreplaceable technology equally for finding shoplifters, scam artists, or potential terrorists, as well as for recognizing VIP customers in stores who need special attention.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Build an Augmented Reality App

How Does Facial Recognition Technology Actually Work?

The mathematical algorithms of biometric facial recognition follow several stages of image processing:
  • Capture
    The first step is for the system to collect physical or behavioral samples in predetermined conditions and during a stated period of time.
  • Extraction
    Then, all this gathered data should be extracted from the samples to create templates based on them.
  • Comparison
    After the extraction, collected data is compared with the existing templates.
  • Matching
    The final stage of face detection technology is to make a decision whether the face’s features of a new sample are matching with the one from a facial database or not. It usually takes just seconds.

The best facial recognition technology is already here! The Apple’s iPhone X represents a beginning of the new era by implementing FRT for unlocking a smartphone. It’s possible thanks to infrared and 3D sensors that work non-stop within a front-facing camera. The system’s unlock would be almost instantaneous and don’t require any buttons to be pressed.

Matching                               

But it’s hardly an exclusive example. There is famous Facebook facial recognition technology which accuracy and powerfulness happen to beat the FBI systems! Every time you upload a photo and tag your friends on it you provide enormous help for the facial recognition (FR) algorithm.

"There are more FR algorithms and techniques than there are companies. But with its huge database of images, Facebook's algorithm has a leg up on most others in that it is constantly being taught how to improve." (c)

Jonathan Frankle, staff technologist Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology

And the amazing uses of facial recognition tech are growing up each day. It is already being used for examination, investigation, and monitoring. Governments all over the world use it to identify potential and current threats. Retailers and businesses of all kinds look for suspected shoplifters or track their workers’ chronograms. There are a lot of social media apps which increase a user experience with FRT. Aside from public usage by airports and railway stations, stadiums and cashpoints, there is even a progressive adaptation of facial recognition technology in medical applications.

But such technological approach raises more and more awareness, questions about whether it violates people’s privacy or not. Is it safe to live in the world of facial recognition technology future? Let’s sort this through. To give you a better insight of what this invention brings for your business, we’ve made a list of facial recognition pros and cons.

Also Read: OWASP Mobile Security – Top 10 Risks for 2017

Facial Recognition Technology Pros

Facial Recognition Technology Pros

Let’s begin with the key benefits you may expect after installing a facial tracking system.

#1 The Improvement of Security Level  

As we said in the first paragraph, a face biometric system greatly improves your security measures. All corporation’s premises would be protected since you’ll be able to track both the employees and any visitors that come into the area. Anyone who doesn’t have access or permission to be there will be captured by the recognition system that alerts you instantly about the trespassing.

As an example, let’s take a 24/7 drugstore. Any owner prefer to keep their money and clients safe, avoiding unpleasant troubles with difficult visitors. When you have a FRT in place, you’d be instantly alerted as soon as the wanted or suspicious character arrives. Which leads to a significant reduces of expenses one usually spends on security staff.

#2 Easy Integration Process

Most of the time, integratable facial recognition tools work pretty flawlessly with the existing security software that companies have installed. And they’re also easy to program for interaction with a company's computer system.

Why is it great for business? Well, you won’t need to spend additional money and time on redeveloping your own software to make it suitable for FRT integration. Everything will be already adaptable.

#3 High Accuracy Rates

These days, the success level of face tracking technology became higher than ever before. Thanks to the assistance of 3D facial recognition technologies and infrared cameras the process of identification happens to be incredibly accurate and showing great results. It’s possible but difficult to fool such system, so you can be sure that an FR digital security software will successfully track every aspect of attendances to provide a better level of protection for your facilities.  

Accuracy ensures that there won’t be any misunderstandings and uncool awkwardness that comes from bad face recognition software. With high levels of accuracy you’d sure that the right person will be recognized at the right time.  

#4 Full Automation

Instead of manual recognition, which is done by security guards or the official representatives outside of company’s premises, the facial recognition tech automates the identification process and ensures its flawlessness every time without any haltings. You won’t even need an employee to monitor the cameras 24/7.

Automation means convenience and reduces the expenses too. Therefore, any entrepreneur would be fond of the fact that image identification systems are fully automated.

#5 Forget the Time Fraud

One of the big benefits that facial recognition technology companies offer is the time attendance tracking that allows excluding the time fraud among the workers. No more buddy favours from securities for staff members, since everyone now has to pass a face scanning devices to check-in for work. And the paid hours begin from this moment till the same check-out procedure. And the process will be fast due to the fact that employees don’t have to prove their identities or clock in with their plastic cards.

It’s crucial for businessmen to trust their workers but keep an eye on them just in case. Unfortunately, time fraud is one of the most common violations of the work ethics, but the facial identification tech will spare you a headache regarding this matter.

Also Read: How to Build a Mobile App in 7 Easy Steps

Facial Recognition Technology Cons

Sure, it’s all looking so appealing... but there is always a ‘but’. There are still some problems with facial recognition systems, factors that limit the effectiveness of them. We’ll review most common ones.

Facial Recognition Technology Cons

#1. Processing & Storing

Storages are like gold in a digital world since you have to save huge amounts of data for future usage. Even though you get HD-video in a pretty low resolution, it still requires a significant space. Just as the high-quality image visuals. There is no need to process every video’s frame – it’s an enormous waste of resources. That’s why most of the time only a fraction (around 10 – 25%) is actually being put through an FRT.

Professional agencies use whole clusters of computers in order to minimize total processing time. But every added computer means considerable data transfer via network, which can be influenced by input-output limitations that lower a processing speed.

#2. Image Size & Quality

It’s obvious that a facial recognition is a super advanced software that requires HQ digital cameras for algorithms to operate accurately. A face-detection system captures a face in the photo or screen-shot from a video, then the relative size of that face image will be compared with the size of enrolled one. So, the photo’s quality here affects the whole face recognition process, how well it would be done. Imagine, the already small size picture is coupled with a distance that was between a target and a CCTV... What proportions will the detected face have? No more than 100x200 pixels.

Pretty hard to get a clear identity in such case. What’s more, scanning a photo for varying face sizes is a processor-intensive task. Most systems allow identification of a face-size range to eliminate false recognition and speed up image processing. But the initial investment in such face tracking software is not a cheap one, however, it will pay off in no time.

#3. Surveillance Angle

The identification process is also under a great pressure of the surveillance angle that was responsible for the target’s face capturing. To enroll a face through the recognition software, the multiple angles are being used –  profile, frontal, 45-degree, etc. But to generate a clear template for the face, you’ll need nothing less than a frontal view. The higher resolution photo has and the more direct its angle is (goes for both enrolled and compared images) the more accurate resulting matches would be.

Then, there are also troubles with such things as facial hair or sunglasses. One can still fool the FRT with a suddenly appeared or removed beard, same goes for obscuring face’s parts with glasses or masks. To avoid such failures, the databases must be regularly updated with the most up-to-date images.

To wrap it all up, let’s put the gathered info in a versus chart:

Benefits

Drawbacks

1.

Security levels will be significantly improved

Difficulties with data processing and storing

2.

The integration process is easy and flawless

Troubles with images size and quality

3.

High accuracy allows to avoid false identification

Strong influence of the camera angle

4.

Facial Recognition System is fully automated

 

5.

Time fraud will be excluded

 

Conclusion

Summing it up, every new facial recognition technology represents huge perspectives and promises for the future evolution. It’s highly possible that in a couple of years such systems would be able to process gestures, expressions, gait patterns, palm & ear prints, voice and scent signatures. Not to mention that humans can’t do what a computer is capable off – like comparing simultaneously pictures of many individuals against a database of thousands. And most of the cons can be beaten by simple actions from the owner’s side.

Want to Know More?

Here is a list of websites you can read to find out more about digital security and FRT:

In case you desire to learn more about this topic, we also recommend following these guys on Twitter: Lulu Yilun Chen and Anthony Goldbloom‏.

The pros of biometric facial recognition technology are being repeatedly proved by various industries like digital payments, business security sphere, criminal identification, advertising, and healthcare. But still, privacy issues will always surround this technology. There is a thin line between national security and invasion of people’s privacy that couldn’t be crossed as the tech progresses.

Have Any Questions?

Send us your request to an email you see below. We’ll gladly discuss the subject further with you!

This article is written by

Dmitro Boiko (Android Developer)

The Android mobile app developer with PhD in the field of engineer systems
analysis and research. He has excellent programming and team leadership skills.
Dmitro is an experienced professional and the highly organized person who always achieves his goals.

 

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