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Entries in Facial Recognition (91)


Report: Privacy Restrictions Hindering Growth of Facial Recognition Market

In the facial recognition versus privacy debate, there are few easy answers. One thing is for sure, though: Privacy restrictions are actively slowling the growth of the global facial recognition market, according to a new report from Research and Markets. However, the industry is still growing at an impressive rate.

The report find that the global facial recognition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5 percent through 2020, which is less than a 2013 report titled “Global Facial Recognition Market 2014-2018” forecast. In this previous report, Research and Markets projected that the global facial recognition market, driven by the government sector, would grow at a CAGR of 26.6 percent over the five years between 2013 and 2018. Part of this lag is due to privacy concerns and restrictions, as the public continues to explore their comfort level associated with facial recognition technology.

The global facial recognition market is valued at about $1.17 billion, with much of the revenue sharing belonging to 2D facial recognition solutions, which are popular in many applications, such as smartphone cameras. The report predicts that 3D facial recognition will show steady growth as the technology continues to improve in accuracy.

According to Research and Markets, future adoption of facial recognition in web applications will be primarily driven by a demand for the technology in such applications as picture tagging and social media. This is the type of everyday use that is likely to familiarize people with the technology, which will help lead to broader acceptance in the future.


FBI Facial Recognition Catches Fugitive on the Run for 14 Years

For many people, the idea of the FBI’s extensive facial recognition database is a bit creepy. But rest assured that facial recognition in the hands of the government can certainly serve a purpose.

Case in point: Neil Stammer, a former Albuquerque resident wanted by the FBI on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, has been captured after 14 years on the run, thanks to a government facial recognition database. According to the FBI, Stammer had traveled extensively overseas and speaks a dozen languages. He had eluded capture for years by moving continuously. Ultimately, he was captured in Nepal just a few weeks ago and returned to New Mexico to face child sex abuse and kidnapping charges.

How did the arrest finally happen? An FBI agent was recently working his way through a stack of unsolved cases, when he came across Stammer’s file. On a whim, he had the FBI’s Office of Public affairs post a new “wanted” poster for Stammer on the agency’s website. He hoped that, even after all these years, it might lead to something.

Meanwhile, the Diplomatic Security Service, part of the U.S. Department of State, was testing new facial recognition software that will be used to detect passport fraud. An agent decided to try the software on FBI wanted posters, and was surprised when Stammer’s face matched a person whose passport photo had a different name entirely. The agent suspected passport fraud, and once he involved the FBI, realized Stammer’s crimes went much deeper than that.

Following Stammer's arrest, we can only hope that the various government agencies can collaborate in the future (intentionally, of course). With the wealth of knowledge availablel to the FBI and other agencies, facial recognition software promises to be a powerful detection and prosecution tool for governments around the world.


CreepShield Uses Facial Recognition to Make Online Dating Safer

These days, it seems like nearly every new relationship started online. But for all the well-intentioned online daters out there, a few creeps always threaten to ruin the fun.

Enter CreepShield, new facial recognition software that helps make online dating safer. The technology allows a user to check a dating site member's headshot against a database of nearly 500,000 sex offenders culled from publicly-accessible federal and state registries. CreepShield works with any online dating site; the user simply uploads a photo or pastes a link directly into the search field on the company's homepage.

The facial recognition seems to work fairly well, although CreepShield doesn't claim to achieve exact matches. Instead, it gives percentages based on the similarity of the provided photo to mugshots on file. Now, if only someone will create software that helps you weed out the bad dates.


Computer Beats Humans in Face Recognition for the First Time

Labeled Faces in the Wild Credit: LFWFacial recognition technology may be thwarted by photos' variations in pose, illumination, expression and occlusion. But for the first time, a computer algorithm, developed by researchers from Chinese University of Hong Kong, has beat the facial recognition accuracy of humans.

The researchers Chaochao Lu and Xiaoou Tang used the Labeled Faces in the Wild database – a collection of 13,000 faces of 6,000 public figures from the Internet, each labeled with the person's name – as a benchmark. The database provides a range of face images with variations in pose, lighting, expression, race, ethnicity, age, gender, clothing, hairstyles, and other parameters.

The algorithm, named GaussianFace, scored an accuracy rating of 98.52 percent, beating the human average of 97.53 percent. Prior to GaussianFace, the highest score achieved by technology was 97.25 percent. 

According to the Physics arXiv Blog, it works by normalizing each face into a 150x120 pixel image using five image landmarks: the position of both eyes, the nose and the two corners of the mouth. It then divides each image into overlapping patches of 25x25 pixels and describes each patch using a vector, which captures its basic features. Then it compare the images looking for similarities.

GaussianFace was trained by using four databases that contain very different images. One of these is the Multi-PIE database, which consists of face images of 337 subjects from 15 different viewpoints under 19 different conditions of illumination taken in four photo sessions. Another is a database called Life Photos, which contains about 10 images of 400 different people.


Retailers Turn to Facial Recognition to Cut Down on Shoplifting

Smile, shoppers. You're on candid camera equipped with facial recognition software.

Retail stores that are vulnerable to shoplifting criminal activity are about to get a new ally. FaceFirst, a facial recognition software system, recently partnered with a nationally renowned Fortune 500 company to deploy hundreds of cameras in store entrances across the nation in order to curb shoplifting incidences and other criminal activity in the retail market.

FaceFirst's national deployment is the retail industry's largest retail deployment of facial recognition, and the software company anticipates securing additional retailers in the future. The company claims its advanced facial recognition technology will boost customer loyalty by providing shoppers with a peace of mind knowing their shopping experience can be enjoyed without the threat of criminal activity.

The FaceFirst facial recognition system spots known perpetrators entering store locations so retailers can stop criminal activity before they cost the retailer money. The software allows retailers to receive descriptive alerts when pre-identified shoplifters walk through any door at any store across multiple locations and receive alerts when litigious individuals enter store locations.

FaceFirst is just the latest in a string of retail-oriented facial recognition applications. NEC just announced its NeoFace software, which recognizes returning customers and tracks their preferences to provide better customer service. Both FaceFirst and NeoFace are designed to be easily installed and fairly affordable, so retailers of all sizes can take advantage of the technology. As prices on this type of software continue to fall, shoppers should expect facial recognition to become increasingly popular in the retail world.