Facial recognition software used to be fodder for sci-fi and futuristic type movies. No one thought that while watching these shows that the technology demonstrated within would be a reality in the not too distant future. However, its time has come with more mainstream businesses implementing this technology with its heightened security. Face recognition access control systems are the next step up in higher security.
What is face recognition? Face recognition software works by creating a digital representation of a person’s facial image. It does this by closely analyzing the structure of the face using features such as nose, cheekbones, lips, and eyes. Essentially it builds a detailed map of the angles, lines and features of the face and then converts it to a file containing all of the information that was gathered during the verification process where the face was associated with the person being added for access. The face is mapped out in detail during this process so that an incorrect match or false denial is minimized.
Facial identification uses one of two methods to establish identity. The first is geometric where distinguishable characters are compared. The second, which is photometric, uses an analytical way of converting the features of the face to a numeric value. This value is then compared to the templates stored within a database. The identity of a person is first established when they are entered into the system. Pictures are taken from several different angles to establish a clear map of the features of the face. This is then entered into the system. When the person then requests access, the system will compare the value it sees with the values that it knows are allowed to have access.
A large advantage to face recognition software is that it eliminates human error to a large degree. Someone can try and talk a security guard into allowing access, or reproduce an access card. However, for obvious reasons, it would be difficult to duplicate someone else’s facial features. Even identical twins have subtle differences that are picked up by the software. These subtle differences are what make the software hard to trick or fool. When you consider the many nuances of someone’s face, including their expressions, it becomes obvious why this would be so difficult to get past a facial recognition access control system.
Facial recognition software is a bit more expensive up front but can offer savings over the long term. There’s no need to maintain and replace access cards. Access cards can be lost or stolen which requires more administrative maintenance as well as the additional cost of replacing the cards. Without having to have someone to maintain the cards, or pay for new ones, it soon becomes evident that excess cost is being eliminated. Additionally, access will never fall into the wrong hands by theft or loss. When an employee leaves their employment, keys and access badges are not always turned in. Using a person’s face to gain access means that business owners will never worry about where their access badge or keys ended up. This provides a much easier way for a business to maintain security.
Identity theft has become a major concern in the modern age. By simply gaining access to someone’s pertinent information such as date of birth and social security number, thieves are then free to open lines of credit at will using this person’s information. This can devastate an individual both professionally and financially and often takes quite a bit of time to resolve. With the use of face recognition software, would be thieves are going to find it increasingly difficult to assume someone’s identity and credit rating. Many people are unaware that identity theft has occurred until they either begin to get the bills, or they apply for credit themselves and are declined for excessive or bad credit. With facial identification, it would be difficult for someone other than the actual person to be able to use social security numbers or information that isn’t legitimately theirs. Face recognition software has many promising uses for the future. Major credit card companies are experimenting with ways to use it to establish a card holder’s identity before being allowed to purchase. This minimizes the substantial losses to both credit card companies and consumers that occur each year.
Biometric security is becoming more widely available to the general public. Limited to government agencies in recent years, it was simply to cost prohibitive for most businesses to implement. Much like DVD players, microwaves and other electronics that were very expensive in the beginning, the price of facial recognition software has begun to drop, allowing more people to implement this efficient security strategy.
A facial recognition access control system can provide any business with enhanced security and minimal operating costs. This new age technology has now taken its place as standard among preferred access security systems and is sure to continue to be well into the future.