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By Alberto Jessurun / November 18, 2020 / Blog

The Top 5 Ways to Incorporate Facial Recognition in a Business

Facial recognition can help businesses increase security and access control, identify known criminals, prevent theft, and increase personalization, among other benefits.

Biometric access and security technologies have allowed organizations to more effectively secure systems, buildings, and information. Facial recognition is becoming more common, as its use can benefit law enforcement, large enterprises, retailers, educational institutions, transportation companies, and many more. 

One estimate sees the global facial recognition market on the path to reach $7 billion by 2024, up from $3.2 billion in 2019. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and accurate, there will continue to be new adopters.

So how does the technology work on a basic level? And what are the most common implementations of facial recognition? Here are the top five ways businesses are using facial recognition in their operations, and how you might, too. 

How facial recognition works

The facial recognition process involves several AI technologies that work together to ensure success and accuracy. First, the technology must detect when a face is present in an image or video. Then, the contours and unique features of the face are sensed and tracked — this can be the most challenging part of the process since faces are rarely positioned the same way again and again. The features are extracted and matched to existing data via algorithms to classify and categorize faces.

A simple example of facial recognition in action happens on Facebook: When a user uploads a photo of friends or family, the algorithms try to match a face to people in the user’s friends list. Facebook then makes suggestions of who to tag in the photo based on the quick identification and matching process. 

Facial recognition is used broadly for two main purposes: identification and verification. But within these categories are a few uses that businesses can incorporate to improve their processes and strategies.

1. Authentication

One of the most common ways companies use facial recognition is to provide another layer of authentication for access to systems and buildings. Just like other biometric security techniques, including fingerprinting, facial recognition can use a person’s features to confirm their identity before allowing them to enter a restricted area or login to company systems on a mobile device or computer. 

2. Personalized experiences

When a business installs facial recognition technologies in digital signage at retail locations and public spaces — whether a store or a location that gets a lot of foot traffic, like an airport or train station — messaging can be adapted to the person actually viewing that digital sign at any given time. 

A great example is happening in fast food restaurants. Some chains are using the technology to detect the emotional reactions of customers so they can gather data on which types of messaging leads to a sale. When marketers can recognize facial features and emotions, they can better cater campaigns to the right people and send the right information at the right time, improving personalization.

3. Customer recognition

Another trend is recognizing and identifying customers. Some chains and businesses are now using facial recognition in physical stores so customers can walk up to a kiosk and easily access their rewards account information. Hospitals are using the technology to recognize and identify patients to speed up registration or even detect pain levels. 

Additionally, the check-in process at hotels is being sped up so that when a customer enters the building, their information can be pulled up instantly for an easier overall experience.

4. Preventing theft and fraud

Facial recognition is also being incorporated into efforts against theft and fraud for businesses of all kinds. Facial recognition software can monitor incoming customers and visitors to check them against a database of previously known offenders or criminals. Employees can then feel safer and won’t be tasked with trying to identify shoplifters or dangerous individuals themselves.

5. Increasing security

With these common applications of facial recognition technology, overall security can be greatly increased for a wide range of companies and industries. Officials and businesses can screen for known offenders in high-traffic areas. Enterprises can ensure that certain individuals are not permitted into buildings or that only those with the highest-level security clearance are granted entry. Companies can protect sensitive data by using facial recognition as one part of a multi-factor authentication system for access to company systems and applications. 

Facial recognition technology is here to stay and will only continue to be incorporated into everyday practices and processes. The technology still isn’t always 100% accurate, but new advances mean facial recognition systems are becoming more effective all the time. For example, some systems can now identify individuals with partially covered faces. This and other biometric controls are no doubt going to be key elements of security strategies for years to come. 

When you need biometric access control solutions for your business, Unisol International delivers a range of electronic security measures to keep your facilities and sensitive information secure. Contact the Unisol team to learn more about our biometric and mobile access control solutions.

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