How to Use Facial Recognition for Hospitality
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How to Use Facial Recognition for Hospitality


As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality sector is searching for creative ways to entice customers to return. Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly popular solution because it provides customers with more convenience and a fresh, new experience. For example, hotels are employing voice-activated virtual assistants and service robots, and restaurants are implementing AI-controlled ordering kiosks, and even robot chefs. Facial recognition is a form of artificial intelligence that the hospitality sector is embracing for its numerous benefits. These include saving time and money while increasing security and flexibility. This article explores the benefits of implementing facial recognition solutions into the hospitality sector, as well as some key considerations and recommendations to ensure success.

4 Key Areas Where Facial Recognition Improves Customer Experience

Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in hospitality settings to improve customer experience, particularly in four major areas:

  1. Food and Beverage
  2. Travel and Tourism
  3. Lodging
  4. Recreation

1. Food and Beverage

Improving Customer Experiences with Facial Recognition

Facial recognition allows restaurants and bars to provide customers more convenience while easing pressure on employees. For example, the software stores customer payment methods and loyalty memberships which means staff and patrons don’t need to handle cash or cards to pay a bill or collect benefits.

In addition, to enhance the client experience staff can use facial recognition software to recall preferences such as dietary restrictions and modifications, or even to provide a throughtful touch such as that wedge of lemon the customer likes in their water.

Learn more about reinventing the restaurant experience through facial recognition.

2. Travel and Tourism:

When it comes to travel, timing is always a stressful factor. With facial recognition, long lines at airports and cruise terminals can become a thing of the past.

Facial recognition technology can save a tremendous amount of time at check-in. For instance, travelers can simply use their face to verify identity without needing to take the time to provide physical documentation. Multiple travelers can be checked-in at the same time because facial recognition allows for rapid, touchless security screenings for enrolled travelers.

Curious about how to integrate facial recognition into your hospitality industry for better customer experience?

3. Lodging:

Room keycards are problematic because they are easily lost or stolen, and they require guests to make a trip to the check-in desk.

Facial recognition, on the other hand, provides frictionless access to rooms via a smart lock on the door. Also, guests who use hotel facilities, such as a restaurant or spa, can easily update their tab via contactless facial recognition technology, which enhances the customer experience. This technology creates a more secure environment for operators and saves money on purchasing, maintaining, and replenishing key cards.

Learn more about how to deploy facial recognition in access control systems.

4. Recreation:

The recent Olympic Games in Tokyo are a great example of how facial recognition can improve experiences at sporting events, festivals, fairs, and concerts. Facial recognition effectively restricts access to secure premises for authorized individuals and ticket holders, saving time for both organizers and participants.

Facial recognition also provides event organizers with invaluable data on the total volume of guests, as well as information such as age, gender, and mood which is helpful for facilitating, planning, and marketing future events.

7 Factors to Successfully Implement Facial Recognition in Hospitality

When designing a facial recognition system for the hospitality sector, you need to consider your goals and the seven success factors for choosing the best facial recognition solution. Let’s use a cruise ship as an example.

Deployment Goals

Let’s say we want to create a system for a cruise ship that increases onboard security while simplifying guest experience. This system will use facial recognition to provide touchless access control, such as restricting guest room entry and employee-only zones, and providing contactless payment options.

Let’s assume the cruise ship currently has an access card system for guest rooms, and numerous camera systems. Each guest room door will first need a smart lock that can integrate with the facial recognition system to grant entry to authorized guests. This smart lock system can also restrict access to employee-only areas such as kitchens and other secure areas. If current access control systems are only outfitted for keycards, new hardware will be needed, which will effect the overall budget.

We may also want to gather data about the ship’s most popular entertainment and recreation areas to help with future planning and resourcing. Facial recognition can help monitor “hot spots” with the greatest people flow.

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Deployment Success Factors

First, read our primer on the seven success factors for choosing the best facial recognition solution. The elements we need to consider for deployment success are:

  1. Precision/Accuracy
  2. Features
  3. Performance
  4. Architecture *Edge v.s Cloud)
  5. Device and Hardware Support
  6. Software and SDK Flexibility
  7. Cost of Ownership

1. Precision/Accuracy

For safety and security, facial recognition must provide accurate classification and access control, allowing only authorized guests and staff to enter specific spaces. The precision and accuracy of your facial recognition system is also important to your guests, as they need assurance that others will not have access to their private quarters.

2. Features

Certain features such as facial recognition with face masks, anti-spoofing, and classification are crucial for a successful deployment.

  • Facial recognition with face masks:On a cruise, regulations may require that guests wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking.
  • Anti-spoofing:To uphold security to the highest degree, you’ll also need to have anti-spoofing features. This means if someone approaches a guest room door holding a photo or video of the authorized individual in front of the camera, they will not be granted entry.
  • People classification:You’ll need people classification capabilities so that the system can recognize and categorize guests separately from employees and control access to appropriate areas at specific times.
  • Other featuresAdditional features beneficial to deployment success include employee time clock integration, guest loyalty program integration, and instant alerts to security.

3. Performance

Overall system performance is an essential factor, as there will be several hundred to several thousand guests on the ship at one time. The facial recognition system will need to operate constantly and handle heavy workloads: such as granting people access to various rooms and areas, gathering data, and processing payments all at the same time.

4. Edge vs. Cloud

Edge processing capability is another priority factor. Given a cruise ship’s travel routes and potential to lose cloud connectivity at times, the system needs to continue operating at the edge.

5. Device and Hardware Support

You will need to address specific questions, such as:

  • Will this facial recognition system be developed for Windows or Linux servers?
  • Will an on-premise, centralized server process all content, or will separate workstations process the content and then send the results to the central server?
  • Is there a need for mobile support, such as logging on to the cruise ship’s mobile-based application for authentication? If so, do we need support for iOS or Android – or both?

6. Software and SDK Flexibility

A plug-and-play solution may work best for users with timeline and staffing constraints, in which case, SDK flexibility may not be as critical.

7. Cost of Ownership

Each use case will have upfront costs, such as smart locks for guest room doors, and recurring costs (e.g., software licensing, electricity usage).

Now that we know the most important elements for our deployment, we can select solutions that meet these unique standards. FaceMe is an industry-leading solution developed for high flexibility and accuracy, allowing you to mold it for each use case's individual needs. FaceMe supports multiple platforms – desktop (Windows, Linux) and mobile (iOS, Android), works with both edge and cloud-based systems, and has numerous features, including facial recognition with mask detection/recognition, anti-spoofing, and people classification.

What Facial Recognition Solution is Best for Hospitality?

With its high accuracy, flexibility, and optimization, FaceMe is the premier choice for integration across systems and settings in the hospitality sector. It is available as a fully customizable facial recognition SDK or as a complete plug-and-play software package. These packages include FaceMe Security, a comprehensive surveillance and access control solution.

FaceMe SDK – The Leading Choice for Customized Development

The FaceMe SDK is a cross-platform facial recognition engine ideal for custom scenarios and use cases where customers want complete control of molding the algorithm to their infrastructure. It is optimized to run across hardware configurations, from high-end workstations to low-power chipsets typically used in IoT devices, and is compatible with Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS systems. You can read the FaceMe SDK system requirements for additional details.

Contact us to get an evaluation version and price quote today!

FaceMe Security – An All-in-One Facial Recognition Solution

FaceMe Security is a turnkey, value-added facial recognition solution that enables facial recognition functionalities on top of existing IP surveillance deployments – such as PCs, workstations, servers, VMS (video management systems), and IP cameras. It can perform various tasks from identity verification to visitor check-in, employee time clock, mask detection, and real-time monitoring and alert notifications when a camera captures a block-listed or unidentified individual.

Design the best facial recognition system for your business today!

Security Add-Ons

You can customize FaceMe Security and expand its capabilities using add-ons:

  • Health Add-on: The Health add-on helps prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases with mask detection, identity verification, and temperature detection.

  • Check-in Add-on: The Check-in add-on connects to employee time and attendance systems to monitor clocking-in/out, and integrates facial recognition into door access systems to provide access only to authorized individuals.

  • VMR Add-on: The VMR add-on conducts surveillance activities in situations where no VMS is currently available. You can access live multi-camera monitoring for up to nine streams, real-time alerts, and video recording and playback.

Facial Recognition, Hospitality, and You

From hotels to restaurants, lodging to recreation, facial recognition is creating amazing experiences for customers. It also minimizes the more stressful and challenging elements of the industry. Thanks to highly accurate and flexible facial recognition solutions like FaceMe, check-in is more streamlined, security processes are strengthened, and payments are faster allowing guests to maximize their enjoyment and their time. You can also read more on why leading industries are choosing FaceMe as their top facial recognition solution.

FaceMe®: CyberLink’s Complete Facial Recognition Solution

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