Retina scanning and facial recognition technology have always been a thing that we only saw in sci-fi movies. Exposure to the internet has made user data more exposed to the cybercriminals, making it a universal concern to protect personal data. Alpha-numerical passwords are almost obsolete in this technologically advanced world. So what next? The answer is to use human features that are unique to each individual as a medium to protect physical and digital possessions. Face recognition is one such technology that has caught the attention of most people. The recent release of iPhone X was much talked about especially due to its capability to unlock the phone through facial recognition technology. But if you thought this technology was limited to only safeguarding fancy phones, then you got it wrong. Facial biometrics is gradually being applied to several industries including manufacturing, construction, law enforcement, and healthcare. Here is a look at the different sectors that are leveraging this technology to their benefits and also how they are using the facial recognition technology:
Businesses and customers on both online and offline platforms want payments to be made easier and faster and more importantly secure. Prominent banks and payment gateways are looking at ways in which they can make transactions hassle-free and faster. In 2016, Mastercard formulated an innovative selfie pay app technique called the MasterCard Identity Check. All customers have to do is to open the app and confirm the payment using their camera. Facial recognition as a mode of payment is already used at many stores and ATMs, but the next step is to apply this technology for online payments. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, and affiliate payment software Alipay are exploring ways to implement face recognition software for purchases made over the Internet.
In the US, the FBI is attempting to use machine learning algorithms to identify suspects from their driving license. As a matter of fact, the FBI currently has a database which includes half of the national population’s faces. As creepy as it may sound, this is highly useful in giving law enforcers another way of tracking criminals across the country. Artificial intelligence equipped cameras have also been trialed in the UK to identify those smuggling contraband into prisons.
Security and access
Apple has already introduced the feature of gaining access to your phones through facial recognition technology. In the years to come, it looks like consumers will be able to get into their cars, houses, and other secure physical locations by merely looking at them. Popular car manufacturer Jaguar is already working on walking gait ID – a technology that is parallel to face recognition. We can expect to see several other companies leveraging this technology soon. Security through facial recognition technology could be especially useful for a company that handles sensitive data and needs to keep constant tabs on who enters their facilities.
In the healthcare sector, the use of facial technology is not just for user identification or security; it is rather used for medical professionals to identify illnesses by looking at a patient’s features. This would alleviate the ongoing strain on hospitals and clinics by reducing the waiting time and streamlining the appointment process. Patients have to choose between a month-long wait for a doctors appointment or seeing their illness on a screen through virtual consultation. Another application of facial biometrics in the healthcare sector is to secure patient data by using a unique patient photo instead of passwords and usernames.
The advancements in the ability to collect and collate a significant amount of personal data have given advertisers and marketers the chance to get closer than ever before to their target customers. Facial recognition technology allows companies to recognize specific demographics and target ads to suit the target audience. For instance, Tesco, the retail giant is planning to install OptimEyes screens at petrol stations in the UK that would help them deliver targeted ads to customers.