The facial recognition market is well and truly booming. It’s able to revolutionize so many different industries – from security and surveillance to AI tools and even providing a more personalized advertising experience – the options are endless. The only limit? Your mind.
With this being said, there has been a very clear drive towards the utilization of facial recognition technology. This has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the software and functionality had been in place long before that. Consider how you no longer need a pin to unlock your phone, all it needs is to “see” your face.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, so let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.
What is facial recognition technology and how does it work?
Facial recognition is a way of recognizing a person’s face using innovative technologies. The facial recognition system uses biometrics to map your facial features based on an image or video. It then compares information in the database of known faces and finds a match. While this technology helps verify a person’s identity, it also raises privacy issues.
Nonetheless, the facial recognition market is expected to reach $7.7 billion in 2022, an increase of $4 billion since 2017. This is because facial recognition technology can be used in so many different ways.
But it can get complicated. If privacy is important to you, you may want some control over how your personal information – your information – is used. And to the point: your “faceprint” is data.
The technology works in a similar way as you, a human, would recognize a familiar face. You know your friends and family as well as their facial features. This is how the technology works but on a larger, algorithmic scale. Wherever you see a face, facial recognition technology sees data. This data can be stored and accessed. For example, half of all adults in the United States have their images stored in one or more facial recognition databases that law enforcement can search.
So how does facial recognition work? While technologies are different, they follow the same basic steps:
Step 1: A photo of your face is taken and added on your profile.
Step 2: The facial recognition software “reads” your face. The most important factors include the distance between your eyes and the distance from forehead to chin. The software identifies marks on your face that are the key to recognizing your face.
Step 3: The signature of your face – a mathematical formula – is compared with a database of known faces. And think about it: at least 117 million Americans have pictures of their faces in one or more police databases.
Step 4: A decision is made. Your face imprint may match the image in the face recognition system database.
Facts and figures on facial recognition technology.
To further illustrate just how massive and ever growing the facial recognition market is, we’ll highlight a few key figures.
- In 2020, the facial recognition market was valued at $3.8 billion
- The odds of someone other than you unlocking your phone using facial recognition is 1 in a million
- In perfect conditions this software has a 99.97% accuracy rate
- 86% of Americans have heard of this technology
- More than 81% of users are worried that their data will be misused
- 80% of global government make use of facial recognition
- Many brands use facial recognition software to launch promotional filters
As you can already tell, the uptake globally is impressive and given the foundation we are working of off in 2022, one can only imagine what will be achieved in the next few months.
Benefits of using facial recognition technology for a business
It’s already clear to see that the simplicity and ease of use of facial recognition is the biggest selling point. Let’s take a better look at the benefits of using facial recognition.
1. Advanced security features
Recently, cybercrime has been on the rise, forcing many companies to improve their cyber security measures. One of the most common ways to protect sensitive data from cyber-attacks is to use complex passwords that prevent the hacker from decrypting and gaining access to the system. But even the strongest passwords are easily affected by threats.
On the other hand, facial recognition applications are a much safer alternative. Not only is it easy to use because the user does not have to remember their passwords, but it is almost impossible to hack it. Only the user whose face can log in has access to the system.
2. Faster payment options
Although this application of facial recognition technology is still under investigation, it undoubtedly has the potential to revolutionize payment systems, especially in the e-commerce sector.
Instead of entering their card information or e-wallet information, payment gateways can only use an individual’s facial expression to complete a transaction. It can also prevent theft or misuse of information such as card information or account information.
3. Greater user experience in retail
eCommerce has grown in recent decades, but that doesn’t mean that traditional shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is no longer available. A common trend that has become clear is that many consumers use the internet for research, but the final purchase is always made in a brick-and-mortar store. This is especially true for large items that require large investments, such as telephones or televisions.
Facial recognition technology can be just what offline retailers need to take advantage of their online counterparts. One of the main reasons why online stores are doing so well is that they offer users a more personalized experience based on their past search and order history. With facial recognition applications, retailers can also identify customers who have made their past purchases and pick them up immediately to see how their relevant new products are coming in as special offers.
4. Monitor employee productivity
The best facial recognition software can replace other forms of biometric tracking, such as fingerprint scanning at work because they offer many benefits. The biggest case of using facial recognition software to track the “arrival” and “departure” times of employees is much easier. Employees do not have to scan fingerprints or ID cards on the clock, the system automatically detects when they enter and leave, and records the clock in them. The second advantage is that face recognition software virtually eliminates the risk of incorrect entries. For example, with fingerprint readers, it often happens that employees leave groups and do not take their fingerprints individually. In the case of ID cards, cards can be shared with others so that they can be scanned at specific times.
5. More options
Many traditional forms of biometric software can be challenging for people with different abilities, especially vision problems. This can affect their access to their work or leisure areas. Facial recognition software can remove many of these obstacles and make places more inclusive for everyone. Because the software does not require the individual to physically locate the sensor, it can significantly improve comfort for various disabilities.
The uses of facial recognition technology
The use of facial recognition technology has grown enormously in recent years with new products and applications being invented and marketed every day. Once science fiction, this exciting and dynamic growth area has quickly become a real-world reality.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common uses for facial recognition technology.
1. Smartphones and smart technologies
A large proportion of consumers are using facial recognition systems implemented in smartphones and other smart technologies.
The first and most striking example occurred in September 2017, when Apple introduced the iPhone X and Face ID, which allowed owners to unlock their phones using their faces. This feature attracted people and quickly became the standard feature of premium smartphones from other companies.
2. Social media
Facial recognition is widely used by social networking companies and application developers in smart and convenient ways.
Facebook is one of the leading adopters of this technology, using it to identify Facebook users in uploaded and shared photos. Snapchat has had great success using facial recognition to increase social interaction with users’ photos by adding filters that allow them to change their facial features and appearance.
3. Police and security
Another area where facial recognition has a major impact is law enforcement. Video surveillance systems around the world are now installed with facial recognition systems and are linked to biometric data and criminal databases. This allows agencies to scan real-time surveillance footage to see if there are known criminals or people who are interested in crowded situations.
4. Retail and advertising
There are also many business opportunities available in the field of advertising. A good example of this can be seen in the Philippines, where start-up AdMov installs tablets with facial recognition technology in taxis. Depending on the appearance and mood of the individual, the software may select the most appropriate ads to display. In addition, by monitoring the movements of passengers’ eyes using emotion AI, AdMov can detect when passengers are missing and change its program and strategy.
5. Border and access control
Another major area where facial recognition is widely used is access control. Many people have already experienced this during border checks at most international airports with ePassport ports. Border agencies program these ports to link biometric data and passport photos with the human faces in front of them. This ensures a fast and smooth passage through passport control, saving time and money.
9 Facial recognition trends
We have already touched on some key market insights and the most popular areas where facial recognition systems are used. Let’s now take a look at the most popular trends for facial recognition in 2022.
1. More accuracy
Despite numerous calls to ban facial recognition applications, technology is constantly evolving and refining. Other evolutions in recent years include better images with better cameras, 3D face recognition, more accurate face recognition, neural network algorithms, on-chip processing, and edge calculation. All these functions work together for better accuracy.
The reality is that the more advanced and complex the facial recognition systems, the more user-friendly the solution. For example, with CompreFace – a free and open-source facial recognition solution developed by Exadel – everything is set up so that the program can be launched quickly.
3. Discrimination problem
The problem is that no face detection system is perfect. Racial discrimination in facial recognition systems has always been an obstacle. If you look at the descriptions of many facial recognition solutions, you will see that the first feature that many companies are proud of is a high accuracy. However, numerous studies have shown that the systems show the least accuracy in identifying women, people of color, and people aged 18-30.
4. Mask recognition
Increased use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to face identification, but the sector has recently responded. Some studies have shown that the accuracy of face mask recognition can reach 99%.
5. Identify your customer
Another trend is the general popularity of facial recognition systems in retail stores. Hundreds of stores have already installed and used such systems in many ways, including security systems, loyalty programs, employee tracking, improved customer service, and even cash registers.
Paying with facial recognition is no longer a futuristic dream. The entire payment process takes a few seconds and is totally contactless. You also don’t have to bring a mobile phone or bank card or enter a PIN – just scan your face. Unlike passwords, which can be easily created and cracked, your face is the only key to accessing your bank accounts or making transactions.
7. Driver alert
Another popular trend is the use of face recognition on cars. One of the main causes of car accidents in the world is related to fatigue. This software is slowly changing that. These systems are now used to continuously monitor driver warnings. If the driver appears to be asleep, the system can automatically slow down the car and sound an audible and audible alarm for the driver. t
8. The Crypto currency world
Crypto currencies are a revolutionary technology that has grown rapidly in recent years. However, to limit their risks, many companies have resorted to recognition to confirm the identities of investors and stakeholders.
9. Monitor and moderate content
Facial recognition software can easily identify and block inappropriate content from multiple platforms. It can also be used to ensure that only relevant content is displayed.
The future of facial recognition
It’s no longer a matter of asking what the future of facial recognition is, but rather, how will facial recognition influence the future? Given all that we have discussed above, we can only imagine just how much things will change for the better.
How do you think facial recognition will change the future?