Facial Recognition Systems: How They Work and Why Are They Needed

By Jonathan Furman

Facial recognition systems have taken the world by storm. Computer applications and software are used to verify the user by analyzing a still picture or moving video frames of the user.

A part of a security system’s tool kit, the facial recognition system falls within the ranks of other complex and high-end security systems such as biometrics, eye iris recognition systems, and fingerprint analysis.

How do they work?

Like all systems, facial recognition systems work on algorithms. Once you upload a picture to the computer, the system creates a unique algorithm that acts as an identifier, helping the facial recognition software verify whether it is you or not. This algorithm is developed taking your facial features such as the size of the forehead, grooves on the face, shape of the nose, height of the cheekbones and more into account. These algorithms are of two types– geometric and photometric.

The geometric algorithms aim to verify a face by distinguishing particular facial features, for example, circular eyes or an elongated nose. The photometric algorithms use a statistical approach which distills an image into values. These values are then compared with the probe photos or templates which were initially uploaded by the user. If there are any variances between the template and how you look now, access will be denied.

3-Dimensional facial recognition

This is the newest development in facial recognition systems. 3D sensors capture information about the user’s face from three-dimensional data points. This gives the software various angles to measure the facial features from. Cross-sectional images of the face are also taken and this provides greater flexibility to the way these systems work.

One very important feature of facial recognition systems is how they are expression-sensitive. If the probe image is of you smiling, any expression other than a smile will be invalid according to the system. It is imperative that the user remembers and mimics a similar facial expression during verification.

Benefits of using facial recognition systems

Facial recognition systems are recommended and needed because of the multiple benefits that they offer. The advantages that these systems provide are:

-Greater security – Unauthorized personnel will not be allowed to go beyond the point which requires a facial verification.

-Highly automated – Just like a biometrics system, the facial recognition systems are automated and flexible. You wouldn’t need to have someone monitoring them all day.

Can be integrated easily – It is easy to incorporate these systems into your company’s security tool kit. Just installing the software and system is enough. Installation time is negligible.

Very easy to use – Training needed to use these systems is limited, as it is very easy to use. There are no complicated procedures involved.

Extremely successful in identifying fraud – It is very difficult to cheat facial recognition systems. Since it is difficult for fraudsters to know how the template looks like, it is extremely difficult to mimic a person’s expressions or facial features. This makes it easier to catch security threats.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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