Face recognition technology is the least intrusive and fastest biometric technology. It works with the most obvious individual identifier - the human face.
Instead of requiring people to place their hand on a reader or precisely position their eyes in front of a scanner, Face Recognition systems silently take pictures of people's faces as they enter a defined area. There is no intrusion or delay, and in most cases the subjects are entirely unaware of the process. They do not feel "under surveillance" or that their privacy has been invaded.
Facial Recognition analyzes the characteristics of a person's face images input through a digital video camera. It measures the overall facial structure, including distances between eyes, nose & mouth and jaw edges. These measurements are retained in a database and used for comparisons when a user stands before the camera. This biometric has been widely and perhaps wildly, touted as a fantastic system for recognizing potential threats. (Whether terrorist, scam artist or known criminal) but so far has been unproven in high-level usage. It is currently used only in verification systems with a good deal of success.
Every face has numerous, distinguishable landmarks and the different peaks and valleys- that make up one's facial characteristics unique. Each human face has approximately 80 nodal points. Some of these features measured by the Facial Recognition Technology include distance between the eyes, width of the nose, depth of the eye sockets, shape of the cheekbones and length of the jaw line etc.
How it Works
The following four-stage process illustrates the way biometric systems operate:
Capture - Physical or behavioral sample is captured by the system during enrollment
Extraction - Unique data is extracted from the sample and a template is created
Comparison - The template is then compared with a new sample
Matching - The system then decides if the features extracted from the new sample are matching or not
User faces the camera, standing about two feet from it. The system will locate the user's face and perform matches against the claimed identity or the facial database. It is possible that the user may need to move and re-attempt the verification based on his facial position. The system usually comes to a decision in less than 5 seconds.
Currently gaining support as a potential tool for averting terrorist crimes, facial recognition system is already in use in many law enforcement areas. Software has already been developed for computer networks and automated bank tellers that use facial recognition for user verification purposes.
One of the strongest positive aspects of facial Recognition is that it is non-invasive. Verification or identification can be accomplished from a distance of two feet or more without requiring the user to wait for a longer period of time or do anything more than look at the camera.
Face Recognition is also very difficult to dupe. It works by comparing facial landmarks - specific proportions and angles of defined facial features - which cannot easily be concealed by beards, eyeglasses or makeup.
The ideal solution
All of these makes face recognition ideal for high traffic areas open to the general public, such as:-