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facial recognition technology

What Is FRT?

By now, we have all heard about facial recognition technology and how it is becoming more commonplace in our everyday lives. But do you really know how it works and its benefits?

Facial recognition technology (FRT) analyzes the unique features of a person’s face to verify their identity. This advanced technology can be used as identification authentication to protect sensitive areas or information. As this technology continues to advance, we will see an increase in reliability and application.

Learn more about the different types of FRT:

  • Traditional
    Traditional FRT uses a photo or image of a face to analyze the basic geometry of the features. After analyzing, the features are cross-referenced against a database of different faces.
  • 3-Dimensional (3D)
    A more sophisticated technology, 3D FRT uses 3D sensors and cameras at various angles. The 3D sensors capture the shape and contours of the face, while cameras capture traditional FRT data. Both data sets are merged to create a comprehensive understanding of the face, including different facial expressions. Then this data is cross-referenced with the database.
  • Surface Texture Analysis
    Surface Texture Analysis takes an image of a patch of skin (also known as a skin print). The skin print is then segmented and turned into measurable space with complex algorithms. It is then analyzed for any lines, pores, or interesting characteristics. This technology is used in tandem with traditional and 3D FRT and can distinguish between identical twins.
  • Thermal
    Thermal FRT uses more advanced cameras, but has the same basic concept as other FRT. This technology uses both traditional and thermal cameras to create facial recognition in low visibility scenarios.

As you can imagine, all the different types of FRT can be used to ensure heightened security in places housing highly sensitive data as well as keeping unknown persons away from private property. Share your own thoughts about FRT and its future with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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How Facial Recognition Technology Is Helping Law Enforcement

Facial recognition and biometric technology is being applied more often in different environments. For example, Facebook makes it easier for you to tag your friends in photos by using facial recognition technology. Some smartphones even allow you to use a fingerprint password to unlock your phone. Aside from these examples, facial recognition technology is also being used within some law enforcement agencies.

San Diego Law Enforcement has been using facial recognition technology since 2013, when it began as a research and development project funded by the National Institute of Justice. The Tactical Identification System (TACIDS) was comprised of 134 devices distributed among 67 certified law enforcement personnel. Today, it’s up to 433 devices among 991 personnel.

These devices are usually tablets or smartphones that have access to the Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS) App. If an officer feels that an individual is being dishonest about his identity, or if the officer would like to determine whether or not the individual is a threat, he or she would use the device to take a photo. This photo is then sent to ARJIS’ Facial Recognition Platform (FRP) via text. The FRP produces a lineup of possible matches based on a biometric algorithm and sends it to the officer. The officer reviews the lineup, selects a match, and resubmits it to the ARJIS web server to pull the individual’s records. This process normally takes days, but can be accessed within minutes thanks to this advanced system.

Concerns have been raised by citizens, mainly focused on consent for photos and privacy issues. However, if any officer suspects an individual of being involved in a crime, he does not need to ask for consent. Also, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) assures that the photos that are submitted to the ARJIS FRP are not stored anywhere. Any of the photos taken on the devices must be deleted, whether or not a match was found. Furthermore, the photos are only compared to the sheriff’s department booking database, so if a person has not been booked at a county jail, then a match will not be found. SANDAG confirmed that ARJIS only has access to images of individuals arrested in San Diego County.

While this technology is mainly used by the San Diego Police Department, every law enforcement agency in San Diego has access to it. This includes the San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University, and UC San Diego.

The main purpose of this tool is to improve policing techniques while better serving and protecting the people. What are your thoughts on the use of this technology by law enforcement? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. You can also connect with us on Vine and Pinterest.

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The Future Of Facial Recognition

As you’ve probably noticed, biometric technology is slowly but surely making its way into our lives. More commonly used for authentication purposes, biometrics measure and analyze a variety of body characteristics. From automatic face-tagging on social media to thumbprint passwords on our smart devices, it’s likely that these technologies will continue to advance and afford us new and exciting experiences.

Of these biometric technologies, facial recognition seems to be the most promising. Facial recognition has come a long way and, in conjunction with information we already possess, will continue to refine its capabilities. Google has algorithms that can already match a child photo to the adult photo, while Facebook’s algorithms can recognize a person by hair style and body shape, sometimes without the presence of a face. The archives of driver’s license photos not only provide a focused, face forward picture with adequate lighting, but also identification information such as name and date of birth. The combination of these photos, plus photos from social media, which provide different angles and light conditions, allow for facial recognition technology to improve.

The proliferation of facial recognition technologies is fascinating, but you may wonder what exactly it may be used for. For business analytics, facial recognition can be a great asset. With customer information and behavior at the business’ fingertips, you, as the consumer, may get a more personalized experience. For example, based on your shopping history, they can determine which items you may prefer over others. And while ads can be bothersome, they are less so when they actually pertain to a product or service you are interested in.

Aside from retail, facial recognition can increase safety and security in public places such as amusement parks, sporting events, music festivals, or even in churches. Facial recognition allows authorities to identify and monitor attendees to these events and places. The goal is to spot any suspicious behaviors or possible threats before anything can happen.

As with any type of surveillance, privacy issues will arise. And as these technologies become more prevalent, regulations will need to be put into place. Those who may oppose this type of surveillance may solely be concerned with data collection, however, analysis of this data can afford us a great deal of information. Dangers will exist whether there is surveillance or not, but facial recognition and biometric technologies could give us the upper hand in capturing criminals or preventing crimes all together.

What are your thoughts on facial recognition or biometric technology in general? Do you think it will eventually be commonplace, or will it be met with heavy opposition? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Facial Recognition: The Newest Addition To Home Security

Debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the Netatmo Welcome camera is a new endeavor for the company. More prominently known for its weather station, this home security camera keeps you connected to your live feed for better home security.

What sets the Netatmo Welcome camera apart from the rest is its excellent features. You can stay connected through iOS, Android, or PC/MAC apps to remotely view your feed. The camera itself boasts 1080p, 130 degree field of view plus infrared LEDs enabling night vision, and, most impressively, facial recognition. More and more cameras are being equipped with facial recognition technology, but its entrance into the home security field is brilliant. You can track the in home activity of your family members and be alerted when an unrecognized person is in your home.

Of course, privacy concerns will always arise. The camera records all data on a local SD card rather than being uploaded to the Cloud, and the live stream “is secured by a bank-level encrypted connection.” And, with companion apps and accessories, you can choose how closely you monitor each person within your home, at what times, as well as determine which type of notifications you would like to receive. You can also monitor when doors or windows open or close.

A release date is yet to be determined. For now, we want to hear your thoughts on the Welcome camera. Do you like the idea of facial recognition and keeping tabs on the people within your home? Do you think this home security camera will be a hit when it becomes available? Share your thoughts with us on our social networks – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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What Is Facial Recognition Technology and How Does It Work?

Technologies involving scanning an eye, face or a thumbprint have been portrayed in movies for years. These techniques are becoming commonplace as time goes by. Smart phones now enable fingerprints as security codes, and even Facebook uses a type of facial recognition – facial features are tracked to produce “tag suggestions”. As we advance and develop new, seemingly more convenient and secure ways of functioning, we begin to question whether this type of technology is too intrusive and what possible threats may arise. Namely facial recognition finds proponents for the technology, but not without opposition from others.

Some retail stores are already implementing facial recognition technology to pinpoint known shoplifters. Their image is put into a database and alerts are sent when they enter the store. Supporters explain that this is less intrusive than security cameras in the sense that facial recognition targets known threats versus cameras, which monitor everyone. This can also be more efficient in tracking people in high traffic areas.

To the same affect, this technology is also used to identify the store’s “big spenders”. This allows the store to know when a special customer is in their presence so that better, special treatment will be delivered. While this may help a store’s revenue, how ethical is it? Could this simply be a newer form of discrimination?

It’s obvious that disadvantages of facial recognition technology still exist. While some find security cameras menacing, tracking individuals with biometric data can be just as invasive. Our biometric data is unique to us, and, in the wrong hands, can potentially put an individual’s identity at risk.

Also, facial recognition is tailored to flagged people, or those known to pose a threat. However, only targeting known threats can let others slip under the radar. All too often surprise attacks are planned and implemented. Evaluation of security camera footage usually produces evidence of suspicious behaviors prior to the incident.

The use of facial recognition technology in different areas can potentially spread and become useful, but the kinks need to be ironed out before that. In the meantime, visit for your security and surveillance needs. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-203-6294 with any questions.

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