Face recognition potential for data centers, health clubs
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Needless to say, facial recognition
has gained momentum in recent years. Applications are wide-ranging, with data centers and health clubs being some examples. The technology has its strengths and weaknesses, both of which should be known to the user before choosing the right solution to install.
Facial recognition is seeing growing deployment recently. According to a recent study by MarketsandMarkets, the global facial recognition market is expected to grow from US$3.2 billion in 2019 to $7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 16.6 percent during the forecast period.
As a biometric technology, facial recognition is consisted of a few components
. “First, the camera captures an image. From there, an algorithm is used to create a face print, which can then be compared against a database of stored images. It’s actually pretty simple, even though it is an advanced form of biometrics,” said Dominic Burns, President and CEO of AC Technical Systems
, an SI based out of Ontario, Canada.
Applications are diverse, ranging from tools that can help law enforcement officials to identify possible criminals
, to access control
where the user’s face is used as an identifier. Burns cited two applications where access control can be helpful:
Data centers. According to Burns, facial recognition is being used heavily in data centers, where access to information is restricted. “While data centers are typically very secure facilities, they still face the same challenges when it comes to traditional access control systems: card sharing. Facial recognition is being used as a part of multifactor authentication. If a card is lost or stolen, data centers can rely on facial recognition to be sure only authorized individuals gain access to restricted areas,” he said. “It takes a little longer to authenticate an individual’s face as opposed to a card scan, but in situations where access to data is limited to essential personnel, it is well worth the wait.”
Health clubs. “Health clubs are also beginning to use facial recognition technology as a means of checking in club members. It is more convenient than requiring people to carry around check-in cards, and it provides data about what services users are taking advantage of,” Burns said. “If a member is only subscribed to basic services, but is using services that would cause their membership price to increase, facial recognition technology can report that and user can be charged accordingly.”
Meeting user requirements
With the technology constantly advancing, it can meet most of the user’s expectations these days. “The biggest concern with facial recognition has been reliability, but across the past 10 to 15 years, the technology has evolved considerably and associated concerns have been resolved. Today, facial recognition is used for high security areas, and, depending on the environment, authentication can be slow. Even so, in a secure facility, people are typically willing to wait a little longer to ensure security, compared to those in a more traditional office setting. This really depends on the individual person recognizing that the fastest means of entry is not always the most secure,” he said.
Yet according to Burns, one requirement that can’t always be fulfilled with facial recognition technology is integration with existing access control systems. “Facial recognition tends to be standalone, rather than being fully integrated into access control systems. As most access control systems are proprietary, the integration is difficult,” he said. “Where integration is possible, however, the facial recognition technology can draw from the access control database to provide an additional layer of security beyond keys and fobs, and to streamline the access control process, requiring less personal information than other forms of identification.