How does a face recognition system work?

It is the era of multi-factor authentication, biometrics and wearable technology today with your face acting as your digital ID to authenticate your identity online. However, have you ever wondered how a face recognition system works and whether there are any challenges or not?

It is not a new technology

If you thought face recognition system is an absolutely fresh technology, you are sadly mistaken. Although, it has been only recently that the technology has managed to grab headlines. In fact, it was way back in the 1960s when the first experiments with this technology were done. However, at that time, the researches that were bring carried out were kept under the wraps.

On the other hand, the technique behind the software today is dominated by automatic systems, mathematical concepts and is supported by sophisticated and highly advanced computer power. Back then, the early versions required a great deal of human input because they were semi-automated. No one could believe in their wildest imagination that just 50 years down the line, the face recogntion software’s will be such a huge rage especially from the angle of security. The system today is being increasingly used by the government, security professionals and the police. It is also being deployed as a major consumer benefit like picking up,a person on a camera and even to keep a device password protected.

It is still an evolving technology

Although the technology is definitely commonplace now, its association with the face recognition system has just got started. It will take quite some time for it to reach the peak. For instance, IT giant Microsoft has deployed a face recognition solution to authenticate its Windows 10 operating system. Even Apple seems to be exploring new ways for its IOS users so that they will be able to share their pictures with their ‘tagged’ friends. On the other hand both Google and Facebook are using the technology so that their users can locate photos of themselves and tag friends respectively,

The Asian superpowers are not lagging far behind in this respect. Professors in China have made claims of creating the first such ATM in the world that works of the principle of face recognition. Meanwhile, around thirty churches located in various parts of the world are using a software called ‘Churchix’ to know who are attending, German researchers have been working to develop a highly advanced face recognition technology, which can function in the dark. These examples are strong indications that the face recognition solutions have a really bright future in the coming years.

Today’s scenario

The recent years have seen the technology being mainly deployed on street corners, airports and other public areas. The use of this technology is relatively simple There is a video camera, which fathers image. These images are subsequently entered into a high-end video surveillance system, which a manual worker monitors. The manual worker then takes out the picture of an individual and tries to match with all those people whose images are available in the existing database. The system uses a computer algorithm to identify a person by measuring specific facial features such as the width of the person’s nose or the gap between two eyes.

Having said so, even today, the procedure is not that straightforward or simple, There are many video cameras that are able to record images only at an extremely low resolution. As a result, proper identification can be quite a tough task. You need to look out for a good video surveillance system that have a high tolerance level for pictures taken at various angles, and changes in facial expressions and light.

The good news is that there have been some encouraging developments in the space. The migration from 2D to three dimensional image processing is a major booster for improving identification.