Facial Recognition System

The facial recognition is nothing but the technology that identifies human face by photo or video. The facial recognition system uses bio metric data of whole face to identify the person by comparing it to ready database.

The face recognition technology now comes in your smartphone. You can now unlock your phone by just having a glance at your smartphone. This is possible only due to advancement in this technology.

The use of such technology also creates privacy concerns. The data here is nothing but your face and here comes the real glitch. The misuse of such data can have devastating effects on society. And so, people are really concerned about this technology.

How Facial Recognition works?

Every day we come across different faces in society such as friends, family members and colleagues. All have a variety of facial features such as eyes, nose, chin, cheeks and even ears. We identify everyone by comparing the faces we see to faces we store in our memory. In exactly the same way, facial recognition works.

In facial recognition system, all the above processes are done by a number of algorithms by a computer. It also needs a large database to store all the facial features data in order to access it later as and when required.

First of all, the face is captured from photo or video. The system can even capture the face in crowds as well. The facial recognition software then reads the geometry of your face. This data includes the distance between the eyes or between the chin and forehead. In addition, some of the software can identify other facial features. Even the minute details can also be recognized by the system. As a result, it creates the facial signature of the captured face.

The facial signature is nothing but a mathematical formula which is then compared to data sets in a vast database of faces. The software compares the data and once it identifies the person, it shows more information about the captured image. This information may include the name of the person, date of birth, gender etc.

Techniques to acquire and identify faces

The facial recognition involves a lot of techniques in order to acquire and process facial data. The traditional technique involves algorithm and data sets of faces. The Algorithm compares the data with a ready database and gives results.

Furthermore, the other technique is skin texture analysis. The analysis involves analyzing data related to the skin including lines, pores, spots on the skin and converting that data into the mathematical model.

Another approach to acquiring the face is 3-dimensional facial recognition. In this technique, 3D sensors acquire information about the shape of the face. The system specifically identifies the surface of the face including chin, eye sockets, and nose. This technique has more advantage over others. The main reason behind the advantage is the ability to identify the face from different viewing angles. So, it’s simply more precise and accurate as you get three-dimensional facial data.

In addition, more recent use of thermal cameras in facial recognition is an emerging technique. In this technique, the thermal camera captures the shape of the head and ignores the other part of the face. Most importantly thermal cameras can acquire the subject in very low-light or at night time without exposing itself. Although the real concern here is the availability of thermal picture databases for identification.

Applications of Facial Recognition

The facial recognition systems now have lots of importance. The most important beneficiary of the system is the law enforcement agency. Around the world, facial recognition helps to track down persons in the most-wanted list.

The use of this technology will soon become a norm on airports worldwide, for border crossing and for national security. The accuracy of this system is now more reliable. Many governments around the world are trying to enforce it during voting in order to avoid fake voting.

In addition, the use of this technology now getting more importance in the corporate sector, as it helps to track the attendance of the employee. This technology also helps to prevent duplication or fake identity cards, passports, and many other identification documents.

Furthermore, in recent years, facial recognition becomes widespread in smartphones specifically for unlocking the smartphone. Even some social media networks started using it to identify faces in photos uploaded by users.

Advantages and disadvantages of Facial Recognition systems

The important advantages of facial recognition is it’s accuracy and reliability when we compare it to other biometric options. The system is particularly helpful in identifying faces in large crowds at public places. The identification via photos and videos stand strong legally. Hence, it is more popular with security and law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, the recognition systems have disadvantages of their own. As these systems need face information and it also needs to be stored in databases which leads to privacy concerns. More and more use of this technology may also lead to identity theft and possible frauds.

People around the world are now very cautious about the privacy. So, this also leads to slow implementation pace of such systems. There is strong fear among the people about the misuse of this technology as it may ruin someone’s life.

In conclusion, the facial recognition systems are still in the nascent stage. However, they will improve in the near future, mostly due to large scale developments in artificial intelligence.

Image courtesy: Cisco

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