How to Build Unique Customer Experiences for Hospitality with Facial Recognition Technology
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How to Build Unique Customer Experiences for Hospitality with Facial Recognition Technology


Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly popular solution in the hospitality sector because it provides customers with more convenience and a fresh, new experience. For example, hotels are employing voice-activated virtual assistants 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 ability to lower operational costs and improved security.

This article explores the benefits of implementing facial recognition solutions in the hospitality industry, use cases, as well as some key considerations, and recommendations to ensure successful deployments.

What is Facial Recognition?

Most people find it easy to embrace biometrics like fingerprint or iris scanning, as these use human features that are widely understood to be ‘unique’. Facial recognition is one of the most adopted biometric verification technologies today and uses artificial intelligence (AI) so that camera connected devices can recognize and verify human identity. Modern facial recognition systems use hundreds of facial vectors (feature template measurements) for the utmost biometric security.

Thanks to its easy deployment and inherent accuracy, speed, and anti-spoofing qualities, AI-powered facial recognition has gained momentum in the 2020s, and to illustrate its wide range of practical industry applications we have published an article highlighting the Top 7 Use Cases for Facial Recognition in 2024.

4 Ways to Use Facial Recognition Technology in Hospitality

Facial Recognition Technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in hospitality settings to improve employee attendance management and the customer experience. Currently there are four main business functions that fit well with facial biometrics based technology:

  1. Access control and security
  2. Employee time and attendance management
  3. Payment authorization
  4. Customer loyalty program

Access control and security

Room keycards are problematic because they are easily lost or stolen, and require fully paid and registered guests to wait at the check-in desk. Facial recognition technology in hotels provides frictionless access to rooms via a smart lock built-in to the door. Also, guests who use hotel facilities, such as a restaurant or spa, can easily update their tab via effortless 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.

Recently Hospitality Net identified hospitality digitalization as a key growth driver for the industry, describing how technologies like facial recognition would ‘shape’ the hospitality industry in 2023. It highlighted hospitality trends such as check-in automation, smart rooms, personalized connected guest service, and predictive smart systems.

Case Study: Learn how FaceMe® facial recognition is providing a secure hotel self-check-in solution

For example, Bitkey provides comprehensive access control to office tenants at Tokyo Square Garden via its “workhub” smart office platform integrated with FaceMe® facial recognition. Registered visitors can perform self-check-in to office and meeting spaces, and are guided through the building using smart technology. Facial recognition ensures the visitor can only enter predetermined elevator levels and doors, further strengthening the level of security.

Employee time and attendance management

Hospitality businesses often rely on a large number of staff with complicated schedules, covering the needs of guests 24/7. Integrating facial recognition for employee time and attendance management can eliminate card-based timekeeping methods. CyberLink’s FaceMe® facial recognition engine can be integrated with the property’s camera system for effortless employee clock-in/out.

Payment authorization

Facial recognition biometrics verified transactions are increasingly common in the Banking, Financial & Insurance industries (BFSI), so it is natural for the hospitality industry to adopt this fast, secure and low-friction payments technology too.

In hospitality, guests paying for additional services via biometrics enjoy greater convenience, as the need to carry cash and / or cards around various hotel facilities like the spa or restaurant is removed. It also means hospitality staff don’t have to be encumbered by handling cash or electronic payments. Additionally, guests may spend more where payment friction is reduced.

Japan’s CAC Corporation recently implemented a facial recognition payments system for the unmanned staff convenience store at their headquarters, showing the potential and flexibility of the FaceMe® SDK. The firm’s on-premises ‘MiniStop Pocket’ convenience store requires no checkout staff, and its visitors need no IDs, cash, tokens, smart devices, or cards – they simply check out with their face. Hotels and leisure facilities often also feature convenience stores, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants, which could be similarly adapted for customers.

Customer loyalty programs

Hospitality establishments can benefit from similar programs to those widely deployed in smart retail businesses.

In a hospitality business where customers (i.e. guests) are registered with the facial recognition system, there are good opportunities to offer personalized information and additional services to these customers, based upon their demographics and prior booking history. Loyalty programs are one of the most popular methods to encourage enrollments and to optimize the relationship with any particular customer.

The Ayuda service robot uses facial recognition to provide customized responses and services to registered visitors. It can also identify suspicious persons to help ensure public safety.

For unregistered guests, facial recognition systems can still be beneficial. For example, Advantech adopted facial recognition into its FaceView Industrial app and offered valuable data such as visitor flow statistics, so kiosk and digital signage output could be adapted to reflect visitor demographics, age, gender, and visible emotions.

Curious about how to integrate facial recognition into your hospitality business to create better customer experiences?

Examples of Facial Recognition in Hospitality

  • Hotels The Marriott hotel is one of the international brands that began implementing facial recognition-based self-check-in kiosks in the Far East as early as 2018. The Mitsui Hotels chain in Japan started to adopt systems in 2020, with similar AI based kiosks and robot assistants becoming increasingly popular in Taiwan.
  • Airports Facial recognition-based security and surveillance in modern airports is highly visible to anyone taking a trip by plane. E-passport gates verify the return of citizens based on facial biometrics and a matching chip in the passport. Also in some airports the workforce will be verified by face scanning cameras, for a mix of timeclock and security reasons, every time they arrive for duty.

    Another increasingly popular application of facial recognition technology is to speed up and secure passenger check-in as it can verify multiple airline passengers simultaneously and reduce unnecessary interpersonal contact.
  • Restaurants Eateries can implement customer loyalty programs, backed by facial recognition, using similar methods to those that have been established by retailers. Where retail customers favorite brands, designs and colors can be recalled by smart retail systems, in restaurants data about a client’s favorite foods, usual choice of drink, and any allergies can be highlighted to the restaurant staff. As well as being used to surface endless customer knowledge options, facial recognition can also be used for food and beverage ordering kiosks, as well as payments or billing.

Choosing the Right Facial Recognition Software for Your Hotel or Restaurant

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.

  1. Accuracy
  2. Features
  3. Performance
  4. Architecture (Edge vs. Cloud)
  5. Device and Hardware Support
  6. Software and SDK Flexibility
  7. Costs


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. CyberLink’s FaceMe® facial recognition engine has been independently verified by the United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), achieving a True Accept Rate (TAR) of 99.83%.


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

  • Facial recognition with face masks: CyberLink’s FaceMe® can achieve a 98.21% TAR when individuals are wearing masks.
  • Anti-spoofing: To ensure maximum security, you’ll also need to have anti-spoofing features for the prevention of identity theft.
    FaceMe has passed the stringent independent ISO PAD (Presentation Attack Detection) iBeta Level 2 anti-spoofing tests, , meaning that individuals couldn’t fool or otherwise bypass the deep learning reinforced facial recognition algorithm using 2D (photos, videos) or 3D (masks, dummies) techniques – even with full access to the person whose ID they were trying to ‘steal’.
  • People classification: The engine is capable of recognizing and categorizing guests separately from employees, and control access to appropriate areas for each set of people at specific times.


Overall system performance is an essential factor in hospitality installations. In a hotel or cruise ship there may be several hundred to several thousand guests wanting to gain access to facilities at similar times.

Solutions like FaceMe® are scalable and work across multiple computer architectures. For the utmost performance in facial recognition, installers can choose multiple fast 3D imaging cameras, with AI processing handled by dedicated GPU-accelerated server(s). FaceMe® isn’t limited to Intel / x86 chipset compatibility; this facial recognition engine can also run on a multitude of platforms including SoCs from the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek and Broadcom, as well as on operating systems as diverse as Windows, Android, Apple iOS and Linux.

Architecture (Edge vs. Cloud)

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

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-premises, 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 a cruise ship’s mobile-based application for authentication? If so, is support needed for iOS or Android – or both?

Software and SDK Flexibility

When considering different facial recognition solutions for your hospitality business you will find there are some solutions that are plug-and-play for use cases similar to your own. This is a convenient and quick way to set up a workable system; however, for using facial recognition in your own hospitality apps for web or smartphone platforms, a solution vendor supplied SDK (Software Development Kit) allows easy integration and development to meet your exact needs. Thus, for businesses with niche markets, or perhaps a particular style or approach to business, using a cross-platform facial recognition SDK, like FaceMe® SDK, is highly desirable.


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

Once you’ve determined the most important elements for your deployment, you 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.

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 all-in-one solutions 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 for a trial license and 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 including identity verification, visitor check-in, employee time and attendance, and real-time monitoring and alert notifications when a camera captures a block-listed or unidentified individual.

FaceMe® Security also provides add-ons for extending usage. Check-In Add-On provides visitor check-in and employee timeclock style functionality, and the FaceMe® VMR Add-On provides live multi-camera monitoring with video recording & playback for up to nine simultaneous connected camera feeds.

Design the best facial recognition system for your business today!

Elevating Guest Experiences with Facial Recognition Today

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. Read more on why leading industries are choosing FaceMe® as their top facial recognition solution.

Ready to enhance your customer experience with facial recognition technology? Send us your requirements today and let us help!


The Marriott International Hotels Group has been allowing customers to bypass the traditional check in desk and instead interact with a self-service kiosk which will scan their face, identify their booking, and provide them with a key card – all within the space of a minute.

Facial recognition technology is, like other biometrics, inherently strong against attempts at identity theft. While a password, passphrase, or PIN can be copied or stolen, your face is as individual as your fingerprint or iris pattern and color. Similarly, you can easily forget or lose your key, ID card, or similar security token, but your face is always with you.

The best facial recognition software will offer strong anti-spoofing capabilities. This means that it will be resistant, if not impermeable, to identity thieves trying to bypass the recognition engine using a multitude of 2D (images, videos) or 3D (masks and dummies) techniques. Check that the software vendor’s facial recognition engine is certified for anti-spoofing by an industry recognized independent organization.

Other businesses can use facial recognition technology for similar purposes including security and surveillance, employee timekeeping, fintech, and smart retail. You will find that CyberLink’s FaceMe® has customized turnkey solutions available for all scenarios. To provide further insight into facial recognition use cases, we have case studies of businesses as diverse as healthcare and automobile manufacturing, and from airports to cryptocurrency exchanges using facial recognition technology to enhance their operations.

Technologies with the most transformational potential for hotels in the coming year are:
  • Hotel smart robots: powered by AI voice and facial recognition, smart robots will provide enhanced personalized services to hotel guests. Additionally, the adoption of smart robots in service will be driven by staffing costs and personnel challenges.
  • Contactless and mobile integration: Hotels are expected to increase the profile of their apps and embrace contactless mobile-identity verified service provisioning.
  • Growth of self check-in and smart hotel rooms: Smart technologies in your hotel door lock and room (TV, speaker etc) will improve the quality of a guest’s stay.
  • Growth in partnerships between hotel franchises and technology brands: Collaborations are likely to include urban hotels where video gaming and VR technologies are embraced.
We have put together a list of the top five hotel trends we foresee for 2023:
  • Digital nomads welcome: To help recover the lost tourist industry and attract wealthy contributors to non-industrialized locations, countries around the world are creating new visas and encouraging the development of digital nomad friendly hotels - with great office and meeting spaces, excellent connectivity, and longer term renting.
  • Sustainability: Hotels will continue in their efforts to be sustainable, eco-friendly businesses. Some hotels will have the opportunity to use their sustainable credentials to attract premium paying clients.
  • Hotel business boom: There is expected to be a recovery in the strength of bookings, and therefore hotel incomes, as pandemic restrictions are all now in the rear-view mirror, worldwide.
  • Luxury: As international travel and vacationing abroad becomes very popular again, some will seek to reward themselves after ‘years in lockdown’ with a no-expense-spared luxury hotel stay.
  • Budget: At the other end of the scale, there is also expected to be continued popularity among budget hotels, and among solo travelers, particularly the B&B segment in popular iconic tourist cities.

FaceMe®: CyberLink’s Complete Facial Recognition Solution

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