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Home Tech What Is Facial Recognition? And Its Uses

What Is Facial Recognition? And Its Uses

Technology has brought with it some impressive innovations that not only boost life’s speed on the fast lane but also make things much easier and safer. Topping the list of these is facial recognition.

Even though facial recognition has been with us for quite some time now, it is only recently that it encountered major advances after tech gurus and software developers brought their heads together to help improve it.

Nevertheless, even with the improvements, some people are still on the blind side regarding what this innovative technology is, its uses, functions and features. Fortunately, we are here to save the day with the breakdown of all matters facial recognition below.

What is facial recognition?

Before we can take a deep dive on its uses and features, it is essential that you fully grasp what face ID technology is and how it works.

To put it in a layman’s language, facial recognition is a type of technology which utilizes biometric software to uniquely identify an individual using their facial features. In other words, this kind of software utilizes special algorithms to first map certain biological facial features and patterns on a person’s facial contour using a digital camera and then stores this data for identification such that the next time he/she uses it, they will be able to easily gain access to whatever it is that has been secured using this technology.

It uses technology similar to that of iris and fingerprint scanning systems only that in this case it helps verify a person by mapping specific facial features such as,

  • the distance between the eyes, jaw edges, nose and mouth
  • Complexity of the eye sockets
  • Shape of cheekbones and length of jaw lines
  • Width of nose

It then stores this data in its database. The next time the same person wants to gain access to something secured using facial recognition this software compares his or her face with the images within its dataset and allows them access only if their data is within.

Uses/applications of facial recognition

Now that you understand what facial recognition is and how it works, it is time to know how and where face ID is used in the average Joe’s life. Below are some of its top applications.

Law enforcement

Facial recognition is being utilized in law enforcement more than ever. For instance, the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) now has a database of face ID’s of over half of the United States population together with their criminal records which makes it less hectic for law enforcement personnel to identify criminals. All they need to do is simply take a picture of a person and look up for their history.

Also, the government recently came up with a program known as US-visit which makes it possible for the immigration department to curb immigrants and prevent criminals from entering the country. The program achieves this by taking the picture and finger prints of a suspicious foreigner and scanning the image against a database of known criminals.

This makes it possible to prevent terrorists and immigrants from gaining entry to the US and this, in one way or the other enhances security of individuals and the country.

Health care

Facial recognition is now used in health care where it has helped make things easy for both the doctors and the patients. Doctors no longer have to search through entire databases or stock complex filing systems to store medical information about their patients as they can easily do that using a unique patient photo which is used to secure the patient’s information instead of complex passwords and usernames.

In education

In the past, tutors and staff at big facilities such as universities and colleges found it hard to keep track of the attendance of students. Reason being, using attendance sheets as the main sign in method meant that other students had the opportunity to sign in for their counterparts while using a roll call meant cutting into class time.

Fortunately, with the face ID it is now possible for them to have students sign in using a camera which is installed at each class that they are required to attend, and this not only saves time but also ensures that no one skips class because a student can’t sign in for another one as the facial features aren’t similar.

Accessing personal devices

The most common application is in accessing your personal devices. Gone are the days where people had to put in place multiple passwords and encryptions on their phones, tablets, laptops and other devices just to keep the world out of their personal space as they can now do so using facial recognition.

For instance, most android and iOS phones now have this feature which means once they lock their device, it is impossible for any other person to unlock because no matter how tech savvy they are, their facial features and patterns are non-existent in the device’s database. Hence making it worthless to anyone who might have stolen it.

Securing certain rooms

Most organizations with sensitive documents and equipment are fast embracing this technology as it allows them to keep out unwanted people without investing heavily in security. For instance, installing this software to minimize movement and access to certain rooms such as accounting and personal file locations has made it easy for these companies to keep sensitive information away from the reach of unwanted people and keeps expensive equipment safe.

Final thoughts

Face ID has come to be the much needed change that the world needed making it easy for people to secure information and expensive equipment. It has also made the world a much safer place not forgetting how well it helps minimize costs because companies no longer have to hire myriads of security guards to keep their facilities safe.

Hence this biometric technology has been more than a game changer and its efficiency will be even more evident as tech gurus are continuously coming up with ways to make it better.


Kingsley Felix
Blogger, Editor and Webmaster

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