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Facial Recognition to Drive Contactless Biometric Growth

Facial Recognition to Drive Contactless Biometric Growth
Advancements in facial recognition and growing acceptance of the technology are driving growth for its use as a contactless biometric for access control.
Advancements in facial recognition and growing acceptance of the technology are driving growth for its use as a contactless biometric for access control. 

Despite initial skepticism from consumers, the increasing ubiquity of facial-recognition technology has smoothed the path for its use as a contactless biometric for access control.
Nancy Islas, President of Maxxess Systems, pointed out that the implementation of facial recognition in leading smartphones had dramatically reduced the learning curve.
It was now widely accepted by the public, which will further accelerate deployment of facial recognition for more applications, like access control. The global facial-recognition market is expected to reach nearly US$7.8 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.
Growth is attributed to the increased need for enhanced surveillance and monitoring in public places, and the increase in the use of the technology in sectors such as government departments. 
Andrew Fulton,
Head of Product Management, Access Control,

Andrew Fulton, Head of Product Management for Access Control at Vanderbilt, noted that, similar to mobile credentials, users looked for flexibility when it came to access control. Biometric readers could help achieve this, while also offering an additional layer of security to protect an organization, he added.
Although new technologies are constantly being touted, the most popular biometric systems are generally the most established and practical, such as facial recognition and iris.
“We see facial readers have been developed rapidly in the past few years, and many customers are beginning to use facial readers instead of fingerprint or hand-geometry readers because they are convenient and highly secure. Also, the facial template capacity can be as high as 10,000 to meet the large number of people required in some applications,” said Gaoping Xiao, Director of Sales in APAC at AMAG Technology.
Facial recognition technology had improved significantly over the years and it was now more accurate than iris recognition, according to Richard Huison, Regional Manager of U.K. and Europe at Gallagher Security.
“We’ve seen facial recognition, originally developed by Aurora Computer Services, adopted effectively in controlled situations such as passport control at airports,” Huison said. However, he noted that even in highly controlled environments, like passport control, the hit rate was not always ideal, adding: “We have the additional problem of the constraints of the camera being too tight to accommodate some people. I’m over 6-feet, 6-inches and can’t find a camera high enough to take me, while people in wheelchairs may be below 4 feet.”
Vanderbilt’s Fulton said that regionally, facial-recognition software was “making its way into the Asia Pacific market as a means for contactless biometric access control, as well as analytics capabilities. We’ll start to see this work its way toward Europe and the United States as the technology continues to develop and companies move toward the adoption of these types of technological advancements.”
Vince Wenos, VP of Global Technology and Engineering at Allegion, pointed out that facial recognition investment had been growing significantly, particularly in China, as players see the combination of facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) as a major disruptor. “Reports show that venture capital investment in biometrics over the past two years exceeded US$4 billion, with approximately half of that amount going to Chinese facial recognition companies,” he said.
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