Face recognition: how it works and that it will continue?

Face recognition: how it works and that it will continue?


You climb the stairs and enter the Elevator. He knows what floor you need. The door opening in front of you. A computer and a phone “know” you and not require a password. Cars, social networks, shops greet you on sight, calling you by name and anticipate your every move. How it works face recognition. Like? Scary?

At first glance it may seem that any organization that can afford it, watching your every move, collecting a file on you. But you have no idea how widely the technology of face recognition has spread around the world and what are the prospects for a powerful promise. In addition to the above examples, the system of facial recognition can do and are simple and complex things:

  • confirmation of the identity of the student during the online exam;
  • definition of people from the “black list” at the entrance to the stadiums and night clubs;
  • payment of goods;
  • keeping your place in the queue when visiting the amusement Park.
  • unlock your phone or computer.

What to say if in Moscow alone already operates a network of more than 150,000 cameras of external video surveillance. From them, nowhere to hide, and it makes people think, but the scope of “surveillance” are not so great. The network uses a powerful facial recognition system, but its operation requires a lot of energy, so real time work only 2-4 thousands of cameras. Mass monitoring of the population is only afraid, so you should focus on the real benefits of this technology. But about all under the order.

How does the facial recognition system?

Ever thought about how you do know the person, recognize him? And like a computer? Of course, human individuals have certain properties, which are easy to describe. The distance between the eyes, the position and width of nose, shape of the zygomatic arches, and chin — all these details you notice unconsciously when you look at the other person. The computer does all this with a certain efficiency and precision, because combining all these metrics, retrieves the mathematical formula of a human face.

So, how well the facial recognition system currently? Pretty good, but sometimes wrong. If you ever dealt with recognizing faces on Facebook or other platform, you probably noticed that the funny results is the same as accurate. And yet, although the technology does not work with 100% accuracy, it is good enough to be widely used. And even make you nervous.

Paul Howie of the NEC says that their facial recognition system scans your face to determine individual IDs:

“For example, many believe the distance between the eyes unique characteristics. Or it could be the distance from chin to forehead, and other components. We, in particular, accounted for 15-20 factors that are considered important, and other factors, is not so significant. Creates a three-dimensional image of a human head, so even if it partially is closed, we will still be able to get an exact match. The system then takes the signature of the person and passes it through a database”.

Should you worry about the programs that can recognize faces?

First of all, facial recognition is the data. Data can be collected and stored, often without permission. Once the information is collected and stored, it is open to hacking. Platform FOR recognizing faces, has not yet been subjected to serious hacking, but as technology diffusion your biometrics are in the hands of a growing number of people.

There are also questions of ownership. Most people don’t know that when they enroll in social media platforms like Facebook, their data from this point on belong to this Facebook. Since the number of companies using facial recognition, is constantly growing, and pretty soon you won’t even have to upload your own pictures to be compromised. They are already there stored and kept for a long time.

Speaking about the software, they all work in different ways, but basically use similar methods and neural networks. Every face has a lot of distinctive signs (in the world it is impossible to find two identical faces, but how many of them were in the history of mankind!). For example, the software FaceIt defines these attributes as key points. Each face has about 80 nodal points, similar to those that we mentioned before: the distance between the eyes, width of nose, depth of eye sockets, shape of chin, length of the jaw. These points are measured creating a numerical code and a “print person” — which then goes into the database.

In the past, facial recognition was based on two-dimensional images for comparison or identification of other two-dimensional images from the database. For greater efficiency and accuracy, the image was supposed to be a face directly facing the camera, with little variance of light and without much expression. Of course, it worked pretty damn bad.

In most cases, the snapshots are not created in the right environment. Even a small play of light could reduce the efficiency of the system, leading to high rates of failure.

To replace 2D it’s 3D recognition. This newly appearing trend in the software uses a 3D model to ensure high accuracy of face recognition. Capturing three-dimensional surface image of a human face in real time, highlights the distinctive features for issued hard tissue and bone, such as curves of eye socket, nose and chin — to identify the subject. These areas are unique and do not change with time.

Using depth and an axis of measurement, which are not affected by lighting, three-dimensional facial recognition can even be used in the dark and recognize objects at different angles (even in profile). Such software goes through several stages, identifying the person:

  • Detection: take a photo using a digital scan of an existing photograph (2D) or video to obtain a live picture of a subject (3D).
  • Alignment: by defining the face, the system notes the position of the head, size and pose.
  • Measurement: the system measures the curves of the face with precision to the millimeter and creates a template.
  • Representation: the system translates the template into a unique code. This code sets each template a set of numbers representing characteristics of the face.
  • Mapping: if the 3D database contains the three-dimensional image, the mapping will be unchanged image. But if the database consists of two-dimensional images, three-dimensional image is decomposed into different components (as if made at different angles of two-dimensional images of the same facial features), and they are converted into 2D images. And then a match is found in the database.
  • Verification or identificationin verification of the compared with only one of the images in the database (1:1). If the goal is identification, the is compared with all images in the database that leads to a number of possible matches (1:N). One could apply some other method as necessary.

Which use facial recognition?

In the past the system of face recognition has found application mainly in the field of law enforcement, as the authorities used them to search for random faces in the crowd. Some government agencies also use a similar system for security and to eliminate voter fraud.

However, there are many other situations in which such software is becoming popular. Systems are becoming cheaper, their distribution is growing. They are now compatible with cameras and computers that are used by banks and airports. Travel agencies working on the program “a seasoned traveler”: they performed a quick security screening for passengers who voluntarily provide information. Queues at airports will move faster if people will go through a facial recognition system that matches individuals with the internal database.

Other potential applications include ATMs and POS terminals withdrawal of cash. The software can quickly verify a client’s face. After the resolution of the customer’s ATM or terminal makes the person. The software creates a fingerprint of the person, protecting the customer from identity theft and fraudulent transactions, the ATM simply will not give money to a person with another person. Even a PIN is not required.

Magic? Technology!

Especially important and interesting may be the development of face recognition technology in the field of banking translations. Recently, the Russian Bank OTKRITIE has presented its own unique solution, developed under the technology brand Open Garage: the transfer of money via pictures in the mobile app “Open.The translation”. Instead of having to drive a card number or phone, simply take a picture of the person you want to do the translation. The facial recognition software compares a photo with a reference (done when the Bank issues the card) and tell the name and surname. Will just have to select the card and enter the amount. Most importantly, the customers of other banks can also use this function to transfer customers “Opening” — the person initiating the transfer may use the card of any Russian Bank.

“Using a photo of a customer instead of the card number — is a fundamentally new approach to online translation, based on the use of neural network recognition system which allows a high degree of accuracy, identify the customer by his biometric data, — says head of Department of development of partnership system of the Bank “Opening” Alexey Matveev. The service offers users a completely new life scenarios for performing money transfer. Currently, none of the participants of the financial market in the world offers such a service to their customers.”

The mobile app “Open. Translations” can be downloaded here.