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How Facial Recognition is Expanding into the Mainstream

October 25, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Calvin Paige, Independent Technology Author

facial recognition 300x200 How Facial Recognition is Expanding into the Mainstream

In 2002, law enforcement officials in New Orleans attempted to bring facial recognition to the public’s eye for the first time. It failed spectacularly. The technology was supposed to be used to during the Super Bowl to detect wanted criminals from among the crowds gathered to watch the game or partake in festivities at the stadium. But facial recognition software of the time proved to be ineffective in crowds and provided too many false positives, and the attempt was considered a failure and met with severe backlash.

Now, more than fifteen years later, facial recognition continues to expand into various mainstream uses, from airline check-ins, to social media and more. Keep reading to learn a few of the latest ways that facial recognition software is being used to automate functions and increase security.

New Social Media Platform Relies on Facial Recognition

Facebook has been utilizing facial recognition software for years. Every time a user uploads a photo, Facebook scans the photo and suggests other users that it thinks are in the photos. This feature has sparked controversy over the years. One lawsuit, first filed in 2015, claimed that the technology violated Illinois’ Biometric Privacy Act, because it collects biometric data from all Facebook users without permission to do so.

Despite controversies like this, facial recognition continues to be used on other social media platforms. In fact, one of the newest platforms uses facial recognition to stand out from the crowd. Polygram is a social network that allows users to create customized emojis using facial recognition software. It uses a neural network to detect users’ facial expressions, and then creates an emoji to match their mood and reactions.

Users can then send those emojis within the app or send the emojis to other social media networks like Facebook. Polygram also provides geographic and demographic information about other users and features advanced filters, similar to Instagram or Snapchat, for quick photo editing.

JetBlue Requiring Facial Recognition for Boarding

Facial recognition is jumping beyond the realm of personal device use, and into other areas of our everyday lives, as well. Last May, JetBlue airline announced that it would begin testing facial recognition technology for checking in passengers flying from Chicago to Aruba. The bio-metric scanner compares an image of the passenger’s face with their passport photo stored in the U.S. Customs database. Passengers no longer have to present ID like a driver’s license or passport, or even a boarding pass.

This tech move is largely due to efforts to streamline and automate the check-in process, rather than to increase security measures. It is designed to be used with other technologies in development or already in use in airports around the world, such as robotic check-in stations, that seek to automate processes to shorten lines and decrease costs.

Smartphones Continue to Improve Security with Facial Recognition

As smartphones continue to improve their capabilities, companies continue to expand what consumers can do through mobile applications. From paying bills to investing in stock, making purchases and storing sensitive information, our cellphones are becoming as valuable as our credit cards.

Which also means that there is an increased demand for ways to protect our smartphones. Passwords only go so far. A skilled hacker or even just a savvy individual can crack text or picture-based passwords fairly easily. That’s where facial recognition comes in.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 plus features facial recognition technology that allows you to protect your phone from intruders like never before. This advanced security features also makes using the S8 plus a breeze; a quick look at the screen will instantly unlock it for fast and easy use.

Facial Recognition is Constantly Advancing

Experts predict that software will continue to advance, including expanding to include full-body recognition, personalized advertising options and even the option to connect your credit card to your face, allowing you to pay through facial recognition software programs. Today’s facial recognition technology is only the beginning.





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