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Facial Recognition in 2020 – 8 trends to watch out for

Facial Recognition is one of the most commonly adopted forms of biometric authentication. As we move into 2020, the use of facial recognition will become more commonplace. From day to day tasks like unlocking your phone to advanced facial recognition in airports, our daily interaction with facial recognition technology will continue to grow. 

At NEC, we have been moving the needle when it comes to advances in facial recognition technology for the last 30 years. Whether it’s helping leading retailers to identify their most loyal customers or working with border control and national security to identify potential threats, our facial recognition technology has been changing the game across a wide range of sectors. 

We’ve already looked at some of the most common uses of Facial Recognition technology, however we wanted to take a deeper dive into the future of Facial Recognition and how we can expect our interactions with Facial Recognition to increase as we move into 2020. 

Here are some of the biggest trends in Facial Recognition and where we expect to see a more widely adopted roll out in 2020: 

1. Retail

We’ve already touched upon some of the uses of Facial Recognition in retail in our post about how Facial Recognition has changed the world in which we live, however imagine a world where you can make payments by face. Never worry about leaving the house without your wallet again – your credit card details will be associated with your facial recognition profile and payment will be taken simply by presenting your face. 

2. Hospitality and Resorts

No more locking yourself out of your hotel room or having to take your key card with you everywhere you go. When you book a room in at hotel or resort, either in person or via your phone or browser, you will be able to register your face and from then on, you will be recognised at every step of your stay with the resort: check-in, spa access, dining and entry to your room. 

3. ATMs

Seven Bank in Japan is rolling out a trial of Facial Recognition as an additional level of security at ATMs. Facial Recognition will not be used instead of needing your bank card to access an ATM. Instead it will be used as an extra level of security to authenticate that the owner of the card is the person using the card. 

4. Digital Advertising

As retail stores look to personalise the in-store experience for shoppers, Facial Recognition is being used to identify individuals and their demographic (gender, age etc) and then present promotions and content in-store that is tailored to their demographic. This might also include purchasing recommendations and special offers, providing a personalised experience for shoppers. 

5. Bus Safety

In a slightly different use of Facial Recognition, the same technology can be used to identify where someone’s eyes are looking, and this has been rolled out as a driver safety feature on buses. The technology can identify where a bus driver is looking and decide whether they are being sufficiently attentive to the direction of travel or whether they are distracted (potentially tired), helping to improve safety on buses. The same use of Facial Recognition technology will also be rolled out to supermarkets to identify the products that shoppers are looking at and then provide them with further information/promotions via digital display. 

6. Airlines

We have touched on this in previous posts; however, Delta have confirmed that by the end of 2020, they will have rolled out the curb to gate use of Facial Recognition across approx. 20 airports in order to improve the customer journey in airports. You will use your face to check-in, check your luggage, access a lounge and board an aircraft – a totally seamless journey. This technology is already in place at Atlanta airport and is scheduled for two more airports by the end of 2019

Stat: Delta surveyed customers before they experience Facial Recognition in airports to see how comfortable they would be using the technology. Only 56% of respondents said they would feel comfortable using facial recognition. However, the comfort level jumped up to 73% after a single pass through Delta’s Curb-to-Gate Facial Recognition system – a huge turnaround after a single encounter and one that suggests the roll out will be widely accepted by the end of 2020. 

7. Personalised Customer Experiences

The National Soccer Hall of Fame in Texas is an early adopter of Facial Recognition software as a way of delivering a totally personalised customer experience – something we can expect more and more companies to embrace. Using facial recognition technology, they invite fans to create one-of-a-kind profiles to heighten their trip through the Hall. As fans visit each exhibit, digital displays recognise the individual and tailor the fun based off current and past experiences in the Hall including building your own national team, creating your own scarf (which you can take home) and designing your own Major League Soccer kit. 

8. Staffless Stores

NEC is excited to be working with 7-Eleven in Japan and Taiwan and Larson on a pilot of Facial Recognition for shopping after hours. As an example, a 7-Eleven store could be closed from Midnight to 5am – staff go home, and the doors are locked. Special customers, however, who have enrolled their face can open the door, shop, pay by face and leave the store. All completely unsupervised. All using Facial Recognition. Something very cool and something we are excited about in this early pilot phase. 

Facial Recognition in 2020 

The future of Facial Recognition is an exciting one. There are many exciting use cases already under development and starting to roll out as we head towards the end of 2019. However, 2020 will see further advances in the use of Facial Recognition software in our daily lives. Whilst some people remain sceptical about the use of Facial Recognition software, experiences like those with Delta Airlines prove that when companies get it right, people can move beyond their doubts and embrace the technology as a way of improving their experience. 

Watch this space for more exciting developments. 


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