We’ve all experienced first-hand the better-known applications of facial recognition technology. Functions such as being automatically ‘tagged’ in social media images, or being granted access at the barriers at border control are just a couple. It’s a clever tool, but are you aware of the vast potential of this technology?
From recognising facial features of genetic disorders to tackling the illegal trade in chimpanzees, the possibilities of facial recognition is opening up new potentials, and could also positively impact on your business.
A Frictionless Society
When was the last time your stress levels became elevated over something as simple as locating your car keys, forgetting your password or fumbling in your pocket for a ticket you just can’t find? The answer is likely very recently, as these are just some of the frustrating day-to-day events that happen, leaving us feeling irritated.
Well imagine living in a frictionless society – no keys, no cards, no cash, no tickets, no passwords or signatures; all you need is your face.
By utilising the latest technology, facial recognition can save time and improve efficiency in the workplace.
For supermarkets, self-service checkouts are becoming more commonplace as technology revolutionises the retail sector. But they still require a level of human intervention when it comes to verifying customers’ age for age-restricted products.
With facial recognition technology, age verification can be done without staff assistance. It is accurate – plus or minus five years – and will alert the cashier if the consumer looks below the age of 30. This creates a slicker process for buying goods such as alcohol for both staff and customer.
VIPs and troublemakers
When it comes to the retail sector, knowing the types of customers and people that come into your store is essential for good business. You want to know as much about your customers as possible; their age, interests, likes and dislikes, so you can target them and ensure you supply the products they want.
By identifying the faces of those who walk through the doors, this technology can give you key details such as, number of customers, visits, how long they stayed, where they went, their age and gender, and more. This allows you to specifically target your main audience, at the right time, in the right way. And it doesn’t stop there.
VIPs can be singled out, such as big spenders. Staff or even management can be alerted when they enter the store, opening an opportunity to greet these important consumers and offer them a fantastic shopping experience.
On the other hand, facial recognition technology offers an opportunity to stay ahead of shoplifters and troublemakers. Persons of interest can be captured as soon as they step foot in the shop, with security alerted instantly. All before they’ve had the chance to steal goods or cause problems.
Step this up another level, imagine how useful – if not potentially life saving – this could be if used in the public sector. In the interest of national security, criminals and terrorists could be stopped in their tracks before they’ve had the chance to commit the crimes they intend to.
Helping people help themselves
As well as businesses using the technology to protect themselves, they can use it to protect their customers. More than 2 million people in the UK are either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction, according to industry regulator The Gambling Commission, who also believe the government and industry are not doing enough to tackle the problem. But with facial recognition, this prevalent issue could be curbed.
Problem gamblers can be identified as soon as they walk through the bookies’ doors. But what if, for whatever reason, they are missed? This technology can be fitted to gambling machines, and as soon as problem gamblers are recognised, the machine will go in to self suspend mode. This helps people help themselves.
Data is the new currency
Paying for goods using a smartphone has become the new, modern way to pay. Soon, will you be paying using just your face?
These days, data is perceived as one of the most significant assets we have. Big data has facilitated businesses and organisations to create more bespoke experiences and forge closer relationships, leading to a generation of consumers who now expect this type of tailored communication.
Can you keep up with this consumer demand? Facial recognition technology could hold the answer.
Kat Cooke is Senior Content Writer at SCC. She was previously Senior Journalist at the Aesthetics journal, and has worked for Sky News, providing live coverage of the last two General Elections and the EU Referendum. Kat has a 2:1 degree in Journalism from City University London.