Innovative Uses of Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology is more than just a gimmick. It’s now in our phones, at our borders and helping us diagnose disease.

The use of biometrics is revolutionizing how we verify our identities and making access to core services easier, faster and much more secure.

Now, people are finding creative and innovative ways to use the technology to improve everyday lives. We’ve included our top examples below:

Transforming Travel and Leisure

Passenger Processing

The use of biometrics by airlines, airports and cruise operators is soaring. It’s already available in European as well as North and South American airports and its influence is continuing to grow.

Today, facial recognition technology can be found in ABC gates, helping passengers to move securely and efficiently through border control points. But it is also being deployed during aircraft boarding. This gives airlines added convenience for passengers by simplifying, de-stressing and significantly speeding up the process.

Los Angeles International Airport is trialling boarding using facial recognition with leading airlines. Passengers approach the gate and receive confirmation via a computer screen and camera following a facial verification from Customs and Border Protection’s Traveller Verification Services. Once verified, the captured images are wiped from the system to ensure privacy for all passengers.

Other airports in the US with the technology available include Atlanta and JFK, with more expected to adopt the biometric solution.

Similarly, facial recognition technology is making waves in the cruise industry. So much so, that Royal Caribbean has started to roll out facial recognition and other technologies to streamline its boarding process.

By ‘capturing a selfie’ and using mobile technology, passengers can use their biometric features to move swiftly through the check-in process. The typical wait time has been reduced from 90 minutes to just 10.  

Hotel Check-In

Up to 50 hotels in the Chinese Province of Hainan have integrated full facial recognition technology for hotel check-in including credit authorization. In an industry first, the technology replaces the traditional human concierge as guests are verified through IT specialist Shiji and China’s Public Security Bureau.

In what has traditionally been a problematic experience, the entire process takes just 30 seconds – from arrival to room card issuance, including payment authorization. The idea is that this can be expanded to all hotels and help to reduce wait times for guests while giving hotel staff more time to assist guests.

Diagnosing disease

A team at the National Human Genome Research Institute has found a way to use facial recognition technology to diagnose a rare medical condition. DiGeorge syndrome, found in non-European populations, is where a missing part of chromosome 22 causes cognitive complications.

The syndrome is hard to detect but can be spotted through certain facial features. The research team has found that facial recognition software can accurately diagnose 96% of cases.

Making online payments

Despite the digital age we live in, making online payments can still cause a hassle.

To help combat these frustrations, Alibaba, the e-Commerce giant, is using facial recognition software to change how we make online payments. Through its payments service, Alipay, customers simply scan their face with their smartphone camera to place an order. It’s safe, convenient and improves the entire process.

But it’s not just Alibaba who are transforming the online payments space with facial recognition software. In 2016, Mastercard introduced Identity Check Mobile to allow customers to snap a selfie on their smartphone to securely – and quickly – authenticate their identity with the card network and the retailer. 

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You can also read more about the top trends in facial recognition at the Gemalto site.