It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of a cellphone was hard to grasp; and then it wasn’t. The notion of video conferencing seemed like something out of Star Trek, and then it became how many of us operate our business and personal life. So what about facial recognition? Well, it’s already here and going gangbusters.
The question is… What does the future hold for facial recognition when it comes to Industrial Computing?
The answer is… an enormous amount. The future of biometric identification and facial recognition in industrial computing looks absolutely massive.
Marketing and Advertising
One of the biggest campaigns at the crest of this new wave was ‘Because I’m A Girl’ by the Plan UK charity. Interactive electronic display bus billboards scanned a person’s face, worked out the viewer’s gender, and displayed a video advertisement based on that gender. Or how about the airport promotion by South African coffee company Douwe Egberts? As people approached a coffee machine in an airport, whenever facial recognition technology detected a yawn, it dispensed a free cup of coffee.
While video ads at a bus stop and coffee dispensing may, on the surface, seem like nothing to do with industry (as in heavy industry), the technology to set these campaigns up very much involves industrial computing hardware and networking. The same displays had to be rugged to withstand different environmental conditions and potential rough handling, even vandalism.
Going further, facial recognition technology will allow people to interact with video displays of products. Nike Free Face allows people to pull faces and a Nike running show responds by contorting itself the same way.
While some ideas may seem gimmicky, remember that marketing and advertising are all about emotion and how that affects decision-making and purchasing. Companies will use technology to analyze more than 10,000 types of expressions and emotions the human face can express in order to tailor specific marketing efforts. It also holds great promise in targeting specific demographics (age, race, geographic location, gender, etc).
Facial recognition is the kind of industrial computing revolution that will eliminate the need in workplaces for traditional keys, swipe keys, passwords, punching in clocks, even fingerprint readers. From construction workers on a job site to lawyers in a large office building, companies will have more precise information about employee numbers and shift times, along with fail-safe security and safety access.
The technological applications here will be nothing short of huge. Expect facial recognition to be as important as license plate readers. Car-mounted cameras as well, as cell phones will be important tools for police – uploading images and receiving alerts from facial matches will take mere seconds.
Facial recognition is already built into border security measures. Expect it to become much bigger with massive networking and databases to go with the advancing technology. It will be so much faster in the fight against crime and terrorism because alerts will be automated.
You may even find yourself in the future at an airport and used facial recognition alongside (or even instead of) your passport. Think of your face as your organic, biometric passport.
Security and Surveillance
This ties into law enforcement as well. But aside from airports and travel terminals, retail outlets will have databases of repeat shoplifting offenders and facial recognition will point them out immediately. Security will be streamlined and efficient to the point that passive prevention techniques can be employed proactively instead of confrontations or chasing.
Speaking of retail, malls will soon have facial recognition terminals to assist you finding your way, offer deals based on your preferences or demographic details, connect with your social media to quickly guide you to your preferences, and much more. All just from presenting your face.
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