From building retail stores without cash registers to making concert tickets disappear completely, facial recognition technology is gradually changing the following 16 areas.
The development of facial recognition technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. For the general public, the most common thing is to unlock the mobile phone, but in fact, it can do more than that.
CB insights said in a recent report that although facial recognition technology is still in the development stage, many companies, including Amazon, regard it as a subversive force in many fields. From building retail stores without cash registers to making concert tickets disappear completely, facial recognition technology is gradually changing the following 16 areas.
1. Public security law enforcement
CB insights reports that in the United States, people’s interest in face recognition technology has surged in recent years, and the number of patent applications has increased explosively before 2016. Recently, the number of patent applications has remained at a high level this year.
Many companies and research institutions are cooperating with the government to provide facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. For example, Amazon is providing this technology to law enforcement agencies in the United States.
In addition, Carnegie Mellon University is also studying video surveillance enhancement technology to help law enforcement agencies better identify suspects. The report said: the school has obtained a patent related to “facial feature change”, which can help law enforcement agencies identify suspects wearing masks by reconstructing the whole facial feature while only obtaining the features around the eyes.
However, the report also mentioned that because this technology is still in its early stage, the algorithm can not distinguish the subtle differences between different faces and skin colors, so it is difficult to provide accurate information for law enforcement agencies.
In addition, face recognition technology still has defects. For example, Amazon was exposed by the media and mistakenly identified some U.S. lawmakers as criminals.
2. Health care
In the field of medical care, the most direct application of facial recognition technology is to facilitate patients to sign in remotely at doctors and hospitals, so as to avoid the trouble of queuing. In addition, this technology can improve the service in many other aspects. Since 2015, Apple has released two open source frameworks, researchkit and carekit, which can be used to help clinical trial activities recruit patients and conduct remote monitoring. Duke University researchers use these tools to develop an application called Autism & beyond, so that the iPhone front camera can screen autistic children.
Furthermore, this technology can even be used to extract the changes of facial features over time, so as to realize a more futuristic application scenario. A Google patent published in December 2017 shows that by extracting the skin color and skin dislocation, researchers can analyze the patient’s cardiovascular function.
In 2017, Amazon also obtained a similar patent, which can combine facial feature recognition with heart rate analysis, track the color changes of eyes and cheeks through algorithms, and then use these data to analyze the changes of heart rate. After these functions are realized, medical staff can monitor and treat patients more efficiently.
CB insights reports that using facial recognition technology to meet the personalized needs of shoppers will bring great opportunities for the retail industry.
Facial recognition technology can capture the items that shoppers are staring at, so that retailers can then make targeted recommendations to them through e-mail or online advertising. The report states:
Wal Mart has a technology patent that can be used to capture and analyze the facial expressions of queuing customers to judge their satisfaction with the shopping experience. In China, users need to scan the QR code when entering Jingdong’s offline physical store, and the camera running the face recognition algorithm will identify shoppers when they enter. Every product in JD physical store has RFID tags. When consumers are about to leave, they can scan the required item tags at one time, and the camera will automatically deduct money from the account after running the facial recognition program. If combined with augmented reality technology (AR), facial recognition can provide great convenience to many companies, especially beauty brands.
Modiface, a beauty digital technology company, uses its technology to collect different facial features of users, including face shape, skin color, wrinkles and so on. This can help retailers understand what types of products users with different facial features are more likely to buy, so that they can more accurately predict inventory changes.
4. Hotel Industry
CB insights reports that in the hotel industry, the application of facial recognition technology can enable businesses to provide better customer service. Binding this technology to customers’ accounts can enable employees to provide them with better and more personalized services. The report says: this technology allows customers to complete the check-in automatically after entering the hotel lobby. At the same time, customers can also enter the room directly through facial recognition, so that the waiter can provide them with more personalized services.
The report mentioned that at least two stores of Marriott International Hotel in China have adopted this technology. Tenants can check in through facial recognition, and the whole process takes only one minute. After check-in, the room rate is automatically deducted from their account.
5. Marketing and advertising
At present, advertising has become more and more accurate, and if facial recognition technology is further adopted, this situation will continue to move forward.
This technology can be used to collect portraits of people who stop to watch advertisements and enhance the immersive experience of advertisements. This has been adopted in many activities:
In an interactive advertisement in 2013, Virgin Mobile has been used. If the viewer blinks, the advertisement content will be further played down. The Italian company almax integrates this technology on fashion models. If passers-by stops to check the product, they will start the face scanning program.
Looking forward to the future, with the addition of face recognition function to mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers, it can be used to analyze users’ facial expressions, so as to display different advertisements based on users’ emotions.