Consumers worldwide are now regularly interacting with facial recognition technology simply by unlocking their phones. However, there are many other uses of facial recognition, several of which are already widely adopted. This article provides CyberLink’s insights about facial recognition use cases and trends, based on our unique perspective as the developer of the top-tier AI facial recognition engine, FaceMe®.
A Quick Look at Facial Recognition Technology
Our 2024 ultimate guide to facial recognition provides a complete and comprehensive overview of facial recognition technology and how it works. To recap, facial recognition is a biometric technology that identifies facial vectors and features and matches them with a pre-enrolled individual. This technology is best used across an edge computing infrastructure. Facial recognition has been around for several years and is now experiencing large-scale implementation.
Facial recognition technologies, such as CyberLink’s FaceMe®, offer various capabilities to add value and are currently being adopted across many industry verticals.
Key Functionalities of Facial Recognition:
Identity Verification: Identify individuals and apply specified rules based on the category they fall into, for example, VIP, registered visitor, blocklisted, employee, or student. Use the information to enhance and automate processes such as (1) access control, (2) security protection, (3) customer or visitor greetings, and (4) time and attendance.
eKYC and Spoofing Prevention: Validate a person’s identity using a live photo or video capture with a scanned (and verified) ID. This is called eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) and is widely used in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) or similar cases.
Authorization: Identify whether an individual is in a pre-authorized database. For example, to (1) withdraw cash from an ATM, (2) access a medical cabinet containing secured drugs, or (3) unlock expensive machinery requiring well-trained operators.
Customer Segmentation and Analytics: For smart advertising, analyze the characteristics of a person standing in front of a digital sign, such as gender, age, and emotion.
Health and Safety Measures: Confirm that a person is properly wearing appropriate personal protective gear for the environment they are accessing.
Top Verticals to Deploy Facial Recognition
When looking at vertical markets, 10 industries stand out as being ripe for integrating facial recognition and, in many cases, are already embracing it:
Manufacturing and warehousing
Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI)
Smart homes and residential complexes
Public transportation and airports
Schools and universities
Restaurants and bars
We‘ll now explore specific use cases for facial recognition technology in these industries and highlight implementation considerations. We will also touch on innovative solutions that have impacted growth in key global economic sectors.
Top Use Cases of Facial Recognition in 2024
AI facial recognition technology is used for several reasons: to help secure and monitor environments, improve user experience, or even for pandemic control. Below are the top use cases of facial recognition.
Security and Surveillance
Health and Safety
Time and Attendance
eKYC and Fintech
Smart Retail and Personalized Customer Experiences
1. Facial Recognition for Access Control
Access control is the selective restriction of access to specific places or resources. To demonstrate how facial recognition can enhance access control, let’s consider the following examples:
• Access control systems for commercial and residential facilities
Facial recognition is widely used in commercial and residential facilities to grant access to authorized employees, family members, or pre-registered guests – or restrict access to unauthorized persons. Examples include:
Smart locks for residential and commercial facilities
Smart elevators for residential and commercial buildings
• Access control systems for airports
Customs and immigration screening is one of the least enjoyable experiences of any traveler, and passenger boarding is one of the many bottlenecks of air travel. In recent years, airport self-service kiosks and access control turnstiles have deployed facial recognition to the benefit of travelers in the following processes:
• Access control systems for restricted resources and equipment
From research facilities, hospitals, factories, and warehouses, to agriculture and mining, there is a plethora of specialized equipment and machinery requiring strict access, operational control, tracking, and reporting. Thanks to facial recognition technology, access to restricted resources and equipment can remain secure. Below are some examples:
2. Facial Recognition for Security and Surveillance
Surveillance systems are omnipresent worldwide in residential, commercial, and public settings, contributing to societal well-being and enhanced safety. From Wi-Fi connected home cameras to sophisticated IP camera systems, video surveillance systems offer effective real-time monitoring and can store recordings of past events for review and analysis.
Traditionally, effective surveillance is dependent on watching live video feeds or recordings and manually alerting designated personnel of any unexpected event. This process is cumbersome, expensive, and unreliable.
Integrating facial recognition in security systems can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of security and surveillance across sectors, and cut overall costs. It can identify when individuals are within a camera’s sightline and recognize anyone already in the system’s database, automatically sending alerts for targeted human interventions.
When applied ethically and constructively, facial recognition can greatly contribute to a safer environment. Consider the following examples to understand the technology in context:
• Safeguarding warehouses and factories
Warehouses and factories are critical for manufacturing consumer goods. They also store goods before shipping them worldwide across vast and complex supply chain networks. Systems equipped with facial recognition ensure that only authorized personnel can access restricted areas, or that only workers with the proper licenses and credentials can access and operate machinery.
Learn How One Government Agency Enhanced Access Control and Improved Security
• Preventing unidentified or blocklisted individuals from entering premises
Facial recognition operates by matching live images against a database of pre-enrolled identities, enabling better monitoring of protected premises and alerting key personnel if an unidentified or banned individual enters.
For example, consider offices and schools. Facial recognition security systems can help authorities monitor the flow of people, and alert the proper authorities for immediate action when a known criminal or unidentified adult approaches or enters the facility.
Similar security features apply to retailers. A retail store might have a history with a customer who repeatedly threatens the staff or has previously been caught shoplifting. A smart facial recognition system can be configured to alert in-store security and notify authorities should this frequent shoplifter or disgruntled individual enter the store.
• Residential smart security systems
The use of facial recognition for residential protection is a consumer-facing facet of the technology, operating within the privacy of people’s homes to protect their family and belongings.
A smart home security system equipped with facial recognition can automatically arm or disarm itself when household members are gone or present. If the system picks up an individual recognized as a household member, it knows there is no need to raise the alarm. If the armed system identifies an individual on the premises who is not a household member, or an authorized visitor, it can immediately alert household members and first responders.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, the health and safety of individuals in public and private spaces has become a priority. This has resulted in a series of worldwide measures that include mandatory mask-wearing outside of the home and temperature checks when entering public spaces such as train stations, offices, and shopping malls. This makes a fascinating use case for facial recognition to aid in keeping individuals healthy by ensuring that masks are worn properly, especially in public spaces.
You can often find facial recognition embedded into health kiosks, such as FaceMe® with Sentry Health Kiosks. Kiosks equipped with facial recognition use cameras to detect if an individual is wearing a mask, and if they are wearing it properly. They can also be equipped with thermal imaging cameras to read body temperature, ensuring that no one with a fever enters the premises.
After the individual passes these health checks, security systems can grant access. If they do not pass the health checks, systems can notify designated personnel to take appropriate action.
Health kiosks can be useful for retailers, restaurants, hotels, workplaces, offices – and especially for public transportation. Public transportation is a sector where people can continue seeing health measures even after the pandemic, and facial recognition can help immensely. Health kiosks can be useful for retailers, restaurants, hotels, workplaces, offices, and
especially for public transportation. Public transportation is a sector where people will continue seeing health measures in place, even after the pandemic, and facial recognition can help immensely.
Traditional time and attendance systems require employees to use physical identification (e.g., badges), personal information (e.g., pin codes), and even biometrics (e.g., fingerprints) to clock in and out. However, the first two methods have an increased risk of impersonation and buddy punching, as employees can accidentally lose badges or share pin codes. Fingerprinting is accurate and non-transferable, but it also unnecessarily increases the number of contact points and, consequently, the possibility of germ transmission.
There are several reasons why facial recognition technology like FaceMe® is the best choice:
It is contactless.The less physical contact employees make with any surface, the less risk of bacterial and viral transmission. This means that you can more easily maintain a healthy workplace.
It supports all cameras. Whether your system already includes cameras, or you’re planning to integrate them, they will work with facial recognition engines like FaceMe®. FaceMe® supports both 2D and 3D cameras.
Employees can easily enroll with a photo. Facial recognition systems maintain employee photo databases. Employees simply take or upload a photo, and then when they clock in or out the system performs a 1:N face search to confirm and verify the employee’s identity.
It prevents spoofing. FaceMe®’s state-of-the-art technology protects against instances of biometric fraud, such as when an imposter holds someone else’s photo or video in front of the camera, whether for impersonation or buddy punching reasons.
It is highly accurate. FaceMe® is one of the world’s top facial recognition engines, providing up to 99.83% accuracy when performing 1:N face searches.
Learn How a Telecom Broadband Solutions Provider’s Office Building Utilized Facial Recognition for Time and Attendance
While time and attendance systems are fantastic for facial recognition technology, FaceMe® is also a comprehensive software solution. Besides supporting time and attendance systems, FaceMe® can also provide security and access control and health measurement.
Additional questions about FaceMe® Security? Contact us for more information about hardware requirements, scheduling a demo and pricing today!
Know Your Customer (KYC) is a regulated global practice in financial services. It requires financial institutions to verify the identity, suitability, and risk factors associated with their business relationships, including their clients.
KYC is important for recognizing money-laundering schemes. Banks, financial services, and insurance companies verify customers’ identity by reviewing and validating state-issued documentation, such as a driver’s license or passport, and cross-referencing with secondary documents. KYC practices also help prevent fraud and identity theft and restrict access to regulated products and services. For example, they can validate a consumer’s age when they attempt to purchase cigarettes or alcohol from an automated vending machine.
Facial recognition can transform traditional KYC processes, making them more robust and efficient. It also opens a wide array of online financial services by digitizing the entire process and enabling customers to perform the entire process themselves anywhere, using a PC or mobile device. Adding facial recognition to the KYC process results in electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC). As a new form of financial technology, eKYC is a remote and fully digital process. It uses facial recognition to match a live face capture to an official ID that has already been scanned or is on file, confirming the person’s identity before granting access to services and products.
The eKYC process typically works like this:
A photo of an individual’s government-issued ID is scanned
A live photo of the individual’s face is captured
A 1:1 match is determined using a facial recognition engine to perform face detection and recognition between the live photo and the government-issued ID. Liveness detection technologies embedded in leading facial recognition solutions, like FaceMe®, ensure other people cannot spoof access using a photo or recorded video of the individual.
The bank clerk takes the client’s photo as part of the account registration and eKYC process, then scans the client’s government-issued ID
Biometric verification is performed using facial recognition technology
Digital authentication is complete, allowing banking systems to instantly check the client’s legal and financial standing
The client passes the eKYC check, and obtains an account gaining access to the bank’s services
Cardless ATM transactions
A customer visits an ATM to withdraw money
The ATM camera captures the customer’s face
Facial recognition technology determines a 1:1 match with the banking institution’s database
The customer then enters a PIN for two-step verification
The system confirms the customer’s identity
The customer may now initiate a transaction
Opening an investment account or applying for an insurance policy
As part of the registration progress, a customer fills out the required information on a tablet provided by the firm
An agent takes the customer’s photo and scans their government-issued ID to compare with data stored on the server
Once facial recognition’s biometric verification is complete, and the customer passes the eKYC check, the agent verifies the customer’s identity with other critical information required to prevent fraud and meet anti-money laundering regulations, seamlessly completing the customer’s on-boarding
6. Facial Recognition for Smart Retail and Personalized Customer Experiences
For many people, facial recognition is only associated with surveillance, security, and safety. But a wide range of businesses, from retailers to hospitality operators and restauranteurs, can greatly benefit by offering personalized customer experiences. For example, loyalty program members can opt-in and register their facial image for a more personalized experience. Facial recognition software can even provide a level of personalization for anonymous visitors. It is relatively easy to embed a well-designed facial recognition SDK, such as FaceMe®, in smart signs and interactive kiosks.
Let’s explore some of these use cases to learn how retail stores can benefit from facial recognition.
• Identify VIP customers (loyalty perks)
Retailers looking to improve guest loyalty would be wise to leverage facial recognition. They can program in-store devices to recognize an opted-in VIP customer and alert staff upon arrival to provide a personal greeting and special attention. Facial recognition can also be added to POS systems, enabling opted-in loyalty members to instantly log in to their accounts and safely make contactless payments, similar to Apple Pay on the latest iPhones.
Restaurants can also instantly recognize opted-in diners as VIPs to enjoy extra perks and tailored services.
• Smart advertising on digital signs
Digital signs have become ubiquitous in recent years as a tool to deliver rich media in public places such as malls, restaurants, and retail stores. Adding a camera with facial recognition capabilities to the display enables the delivery of a personalized, interactive, in-store experience. Opted-in shoppers can see personalized recommendations based on past purchases or preferences. For anonymous shoppers, a digital sign powered by facial recognition can display relevant information based on the individual’s physical characteristics, such as gender, age, and mood.
Hotels can use facial recognition to identify top-tier loyalty members the moment they walk through the door. A system alert notifies staff to provide tailored assistance based on known preferences, such as a quiet room on the top floor, extra pillows, or even a preset room temperature.
An interactive sign equipped with facial recognition technology can show opted-in guests’ directions to their rooms or offer personalized recommendations for local activities based on stored information and preferences.
Adding facial recognition technology to POS devices and self-checkout kiosks can provide opted-in customers with a secure, cardless, and entirely contactless payment option. Or it can be used for dual authentication in conjunction with a credit card or official ID for large transactions. It can also be implemented anywhere, from the employee cafeteria to fast-food restaurants, from the grocery store to any retailer.
Businesses offering loyalty programs can deploy this technology by implementing a facial recognition SDK in their POS system and inviting members to opt-in with their facial picture. Here’s an example of how Qualcomm and CyberLink have worked together to integrate facial recognition in POS solutions.
• Visitor analysis for business owners and operators
You can also leverage facial recognition for data analysis. A device with facial recognition can capture customer behavior and demographic data in a retail environment. It can determine if customers look confused or lost in certain aisles or if they are more inclined to buy a product placed next to a mirror. These patterns are captured by facial recognition and AI technology, informing the retailer of actions to take to produce more positive experiences.
Case Study: Learn how Japanese CAC Corporation Utilized Facial Recognition for Self-Serve Payments
Law enforcement has been a critical use case for facial recognition since the initial days of the technology’s development. While concerns still exist about inappropriate surveillance, biases, and false identification, the technology is helpful in certain public sector scenarios. Police have used facial recognition ethically to solve crimes, from identifying shoplifters to tracking dangerous criminals. Negative public opinion has slowed down the adoption of the technology for law enforcement. Ethical implementation and regulation of facial recognition still needs improvement to fully gain public confidence.
For further information on how to responsibly use facial recognition in the US, download our FREE white paper today!
• Assist people in need who can’t identify themselves
The use of facial recognition by law enforcement and public safety isn’t just about tracking criminals. One positive use case that has seen success is recognizing people who need help but can’t identify themselves. Examples include a senior citizen with dementia who is lost, or an unconscious person. Using smartphones equipped with facial recognition, law enforcement officers can match the person’s face with government photo ID to provide swift and adequate assistance.
• Find missing people
A positive corollary to the above example is facial recognition to find missing people and human trafficking victims through cameras in public places such as busy streets, airports, malls, and train stations. If their faces are in a database, law enforcement will be notified as soon as they are identified on camera. In the span of just four days, nearly 3,000 missing children were discovered in India using facial recognition.
How to Deploy Facial Recognition Software and Hardware
Now that we have widely discussed facial recognition use cases, we will provide an overview of its implementation and factors for consideration.
Facial Recognition Hardware
For facial recognition hardware considerations, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Solutions should always be customized to end users and their industries, as well as the specific needs and scope of each individual use case.
There are endless hardware options capable of running facial recognition. Some of the most common include PCs, workstations, and smart IoT or AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) devices. For each type of device, there are several chipset and camera options on top of several other considerations, each impacting performance and cost. For more details, please read Facial Recognition at the Edge – The Ultimate Guide 2024.
Facial Recognition SDK and API
Facial recognition is essentially delivered as software technology. For IoT and AIoT developers, facial recognition SDK (Software Development Kit) or API (Application Programming Interface) provides crucial functionalities such as face detection, facial template extraction, face match, and face search with a ready-to-integrate software package. This can easily be integrated into hardware such as kiosks, signage, cameras, PCs, and workstations.
FaceMe® is a facial recognition engine available as a software development kit (SDK). It can be customized and integrated into multiple devices on a given network, with key use cases for edge-based IoT and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things.) As an SDK, FaceMe® can be integrated into virtually any device and operating system.
System integrators or solution developers can integrate features into existing solutions with the utmost flexibility with facial recognition APIs and SDKs. However, this also means more resources, time, and engineering effort are needed to develop a tailor-made solution. In many circumstances, a ready-to-use turnkey solution is more suitable.
FaceMe® Security is a turnkey, value-added facial recognition software that enables facial recognition functionalities on top of existing IP surveillance deployments. It can conduct various tasks from identity verification to visitor check-in, employee time and attendance, mask detection, real-time monitoring, and alert notifications.
What is the future of facial recognition technology?
When designing a facial recognition solution tailored to your specific needs it is helpful to evaluate similar well accepted and widely deployed use cases. For example, if you want to implement facial recognition for employee and visitor access control, you can learn from existing deployments in businesses with comparable size and scope.
Of course, this is more difficult with a new use case. First, you will want to determine and analyze all the factors and variables. Some of the most important considerations include:
Physical environment - Will the devices and cameras be indoors, outdoors, or a mix of the two? Will the lighting source be natural or artificial? Lighting is a huge factor in determining the accuracy of face detection and recognition.
Number of devices - Do you only need one device at a single entry point or multiple devices? In the latter case, will each device have a specific and unique function based on its location? Certain devices are better for specific tasks, so determine their functions before selecting your devices.
Connecting devices - How will each device be deployed and connected? For cloud deployments, you will need a reliable internet connection. For edge deployments, do you need multiple devices to communicate with each other, for example cameras feeding into a PC or workstation?
We have only scratched the surface of what facial recognition can do to improve global safety, security, and efficiency. It is the future of AI and biometric technology. We look forward to continually innovating and delivering our world-class FaceMe® solutions to end users.
Facial recognition relies on the application of AI and deep learning to imagery.
Step 1. Face detection: The technology scans an area for full or partial human faces within camera view.
Step 2. Facial feature extraction: After a face has been detected, a facial template is generated.
Step 3. Face Match and Face Search: The facial recognition engine will perform a 1:1 face match to match the template with a pre-enrolled database. It will further go on to confirm the person’s identity through 1:N face search.
By implementing facial recognition, your business should benefit immediately from:
Increased security – accurate AI-based facial recognition systems work 24/7, 356 days a year carefully monitoring your connected cameras. Human personnel aren’t as reliable or accurate, and products like FaceMe® can recognize individuals in crowds, people who are wearing face coverings, protective headgear, and/or are in motion.
Elimination of identity theft – using facial recognition eliminates the need for traditional security passes in the form of cards, tokens, keys – or even fingerprints. Touchless face recognition systems don’t allow people to steal your credentials for unauthorized access. Moreover, strong anti-spoofing implementations in solutions like FaceMe® mean that even sophisticated video-based spoofing attempts won’t pass verification.
Improved business productivity – another great quality of facial recognition is that it doesn’t impede enrolled employees. It is one of the fastest identity verification systems, and its touchless methodology can help eliminated crowding at busy times in busy thoroughfares. Astonishingly, solutions like FaceMe® can confirm an identity in milliseconds, and systems can be setup to scan multiple individuals simultaneously, even if they don’t pause deliberately for the camera.
The positives of facial recognition technology far outweigh the negatives, and the negatives we are aware of can be reduced or eliminated with careful consideration in the planning and implementation stages. However, if we were to list the most important positives of AI-based face recognition, we would put forward the incredible speed, accuracy and ease of installation of modern face recognition solutions like CyberLink’s FaceMe®.
Innovative use cases for AI-based facial recognition span applications as varied as: blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions; smart office applications; airport security; health and safety monitoring; customer service automation; and enhanced smart retail experiences.
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