The objective of facial recognition technology is to match unique characteristics for the purpose of identifying or authenticating an individual. Software that detects faces in images quantifies their characteristics, and compares them to in-built templates in a database can be used to match faces against stored templates. Facial recognition technology is extremely versatile, which is reflected in its wide array of potential applications.
Face biometrics can be integrated anywhere there is a modern camera. More and more law enforcement agencies are using biometric software to scan faces in CCTV footage and identify persons of interest on the ground. As a result, border authorities increasingly use facial recognition to verify the identities of travellers, especially at airports. In the mobile sector, face scanning is becoming a popular method of unlocking smartphones – as seen in Apple’s revolutionary Face ID technology on its latest iPhones – as well as verifying payments and signing in to mobile apps.
In spite of the controversy over how law enforcement officials use facial recognition, many officials have argued that the technology is an effective way for them to combat crime and also to identify missing persons and trafficking. Meanwhile, as a contactless biometric solution that’s easy to deploy in consumer devices, face recognition is showing the public just how convenient strong authentication can be. Facial recognition doesn’t just deal with hard identities but also has the ability to gather demographic data on crowds. This has made face biometrics solutions increasingly sought after in the retail marketing industry.