Facial recognition: Coming to a gadget near you

Rob Lever | AFP
Thu, 2019-01-10 04:11

LAS VEGAS: Imagine walking into a store where a robot greets you
by name, lets you know that your online order is ready, and then
suggests other products you might want pick up.
Facial recognition is making that possible as the technology gains
traction in a range of consumer products, automobiles, and retail
and hotel services, in addition to its longstanding but
controversial use in law enforcement and security.
At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week,
exhibitors pointed to how facial recognition may be used to
“personalize” experiences and enhance personal security.
While facial recognition has been on smartphones for some time,
some newer uses include in care and entry systems for homes and
offices, along with retail applications.
SoftBank Robotics chief strategy officer Steve Carlin, who showed
CES attendees how the company’s Pepper robot could offer retail
customers personalized attention, said the technology could also be
used in hotels where an automated system could deliver a customized
experience to a regular client.
“They should be able to say ‘Welcome back, you don’t need to
stand in line, we’ve already checked you in and we’ve sent the
key to your phone,’” Carlin said.
Carmakers at CES were showing how facial recognition could improve
and personalize the travel experience through music, entertainment
and other preferences.
Abe Chen of the Chinese-based auto startup Byton said its vehicle,
set to launch later this year, would be able to make useful
recommendations based on facial recognition.
“It knows who is in the car, how long you’ve been on the road
and what you like to eat, so it could make a restaurant
recommendation,” Chen told a CES presentation.
Richard Carriere of the Taiwan-based tech firm Cyberlink said the
firm’s new facial recognition being shown at CES is “very
precise” and is being offered for retail, home and law
enforcement applications.
Carriere said retailers can customize ads on digital signs by using
this technology — so a teenage girl might not see the same
message as an elderly man.
“If someone walks into a store, based on gender or facial
expression or age group we can customize what shows up in the
signage,” he told AFP.
Other startups were integrating facial recognition into home
doorbells or security systems, enabling family members and friends
to gain entry while alerting homeowners about potentially
suspicious people.
“This is one more element of autonomy in your intelligent
home,” said Bill Hensley of the security firm Nortek, who showed
how its new Elan system can easily let people in and then customize
the home environment.
Chinese startup Tuya introduced its AI video doorbell using
real-time facial recognition to identify family members, friends,
couriers, property managers and even pets, and to create a
“whitelist” of accepted people.
“You will be able to give people a one-time pass, and you can
talk with them over a video connection,” said Tuya sales chief
Sandy Scott of the device, which is to go on sale later this
Scott said the device could be used in assisted living homes to
limit entries of unknown people, and also recognize if someone with
dementia is wandering off. It stores data on the device to reduce
risks of data leakage.
Other CES exhibitors including Procter & Gamble were
demonstrating the use of facial recognition to enable customers to
personalize skin care treatments.
Even as the uses for facial recognition grow, the technology
remains controversial, especially regarding law enforcement
building up databases.
Some critics worry about the accuracy of the technology and whether
it means more kinds of surveillance and tracking.
Retailers and other firms “may already have every data point
about me except my face,” Brenda Leong of the Future of Privacy
Forum in Washington said.
“So you wonder, what is the value added?“
Equating the technology to online tracking, she said facial
recognition means “your face as a cookie,” the tracking files
used by online data collectors.
A Brookings Institution survey earlier this year found 50 percent
of respondents opposed facial recognition software in retail stores
to prevent theft, and 44 percent said using this software in
airports to establish identity was unfavorable.
A different survey released this week by the Information Technology
and Innovation Foundation offered different results, finding just
26 percent want the government to strictly limit facial
recognition, and 20 percent support limits on facial recognition if
it would mean airports cannot use it to speed up security lines
“People are often suspicious of new technologies, but in this
case, they seem to have warmed up to facial recognition technology
quite quickly,” said Daniel Castro of ITIF.

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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
Facial recognition: Coming to a gadget near you