Facing The Future | Exploring The Benefits Of Facial Recognition For Corporate Use

October 9, 2020

Facing The Future | Exploring The Benefits Of Facial Recognition For Corporate Use

Technology is rapidly evolving, and elements that were previously only possible in sci-fi movies or James Bond missions, are becoming a reality. Self-driving cars, immersive gaming and voice powered homes are the type of advancements people read about and disregard; either due to prices or not seeing the opportunities these tools can create. Artificial Intelligence encompasses a wide variety of products which create feasible solutions and opportunities; one such being Facial Recognition software for corporate use.

What Is Facial Recognition?

In a nutshell, facial recognition technology is utilised to give users access to restricted locations or sensitive information and relies on the user’s facial features to grant the access in question. The technology provides a quicker and safer alternative to passwords, access cards or keys. Facial recognition software and facial mapping is used in various scenarios in our everyday lives, from unlocking our iPhones to auto tagging pictures on Facebook, but very few corporate companies have yet to embrace facial recognition software and reap the benefits it has to offer.

How Does It Work?

Facial recognition technology utilises biometrics to map facial contours and create digital databases which enable applications to identify and verify human faces. The process involves facial detection, analysis and image to data conversion. The data or faceprint can then be saved or used as a blueprint to find a match within the preexisting faceprint database. 

Benefits To Business

Facial recognition technology already serves a wide range of markets, from security to entertainment. Apart from easy integration and deployment, companies adopt facial recognition technology due to the enhanced layer of security it offers compared to more traditional tools such as using passwords, access cards or even fingerprint scanning. Although there is still room for improvement, numerous companies have already jumped at the opportunity to utilise face recognition tech, mostly due to increased security, cost reduction and overall convenience. 

Security

Security has always been one of the main reasons behind why individuals either adopt certain technology systems or distrust it altogether. Online banking and payment is for example a very convenient system available to consumers, but due to looming security threats, individuals are still drawn to traditional banking and payment methods. MasterCard, one of the largest electronic payment companies globally, recognised this barrier obstructing consumer adoption rates of modern systems and incorporated facial recognition tech into their service offering, called Selfie Pay, which ultimately enhances online transaction security. 

Facial recognition software offers numerous security boosting opportunities and can be incorporated into different facets of any business, ultimately lowering company vulnerability. Some examples of facial recognition for corporate use include; assigning physical and digital access levels to specific faceprints or making company issued devices only usable by employees within the database. 

Cost Reduction & Convenience

Facial recognition software may initially be costly, but at the end of the day it will actually save companies money. Access cards are currently the most widely used tool to access the workplace or restricted areas, but access cards are costly to produce and are frequently renewed, stolen or lost. By replacing business access cards with facial recognition technology, renewals can simply be done through rescanning employee facial features and adding or removing employees from the faceprint database as they join or leave the company. Company costs can also be lowered through facial recognition as the  process of tracking employee attendance, absenteeism and overtime will be simplified, eliminating errors with regards to work hours and accurately synching these hours when calculating payroll. 

Covid-19 Safety 

Employees around the world are slowly returning to work as Covid-19 infection rates decrease, but certain protocols still remain in place such as wearing facemasks or implementing self-isolation in the case of possible exposure. Numerous warehouses and factories already have face recognition technology inplace to monitor whether or not employees are wearing face masks when working with potentially harmful chemicals, and this same mask detection technology can be used by companies to ensure that employees are adhering to Covid-19 guidelines. With regards to self-isolation, when employees are tested positive for Covid-19 infection, facial recognition technology can also be used to go back and track the movements of Covid-19 positive employees, helping companies identify which other employees may also have been infected without having to quarantine the entire workforce. 

Although the Covid-19 epidemic will come to pass (hopefully) in the near future, the onslaught of this virus has instilled a wide range of notions and best practices within individuals, most notably making society hyper-aware of bacteria and viruses and how they spread. Facial recognition software offers an hands-free alternative to everyday employee sign in systems such as punching in pins, swiping access cards or fingerprint scanning, which ultimately limits the spread of illnesses while also ensuring employee peace of mind. 

Controversies

Wherever there is change and innovation, controversial discussions ensue. Facial recognition software is regarded as one of the most controversial biometric systems on the market, creating a massive divide between biometric enthusiasts and privacy protection advocates. One of the main concerns regarding facial recognition technology is the mass surveillance of ordinary citizens by police force. Clearview AI, an American tech startup, offers robust facial recognition tools operating on a faceprint database made up of over three billion photos obtained from websites and social media profiles, allowing their face recognition tech to even recognise individuals with partly covered faces. Although this software can undoubtedly lead to a lot of good, scraping faces from individuals on social media applications and websites, effectively goes against the policies of industry leaders such as Facebook and Google, creating a system of distrust as most of these images are sourced without user consent. The algorithmic biases of AI systems’ against marginalized groups, coupled with the possibility of inaccurate matches, could also pose a threat towards the widespread acceptance of mass scale facial recognition tech. In our opinion, facial recognition technology is not malicious in nature, but can be used with malicious intent, thus to reap the benefits of biometric tech and encourage widespread adoption, usage regulations need to be expanded and evolved to protect citizen privacy rights. 

Where To From Here?

Taking into account current events, hands-free technology will undoubtedly experience a boom, pushing companies towards adopting the necessary systems and tech to ensure that they are well prepared for the hands-free generation. If you’re ready to face the future and discuss custom hands-free tech Swipe iX can develop for your company, get in touch or view our existing Facial Recognition products - we’re always eager to innovate. 

Hendri Lategan

CEO

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