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.
Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in hospitality settings to improve customer experience, particularly in four major areas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Certain features such as facial recognition with face masks, anti-spoofing, and classification are crucial for a successful deployment.
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.
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.
You will need to address specific questions, such as:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can customize FaceMe Security and expand its capabilities using add-ons:
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.
Our team of experts will be happy to answer your questions and schedule a demo. Free evaluation versions of the FaceMe® are available to qualified contacts.