I remember before the millennium when the future of technology was unknown and the film industry decided to get creative, we had films like Enemy of the State where technology could not only identify a persons face but it could pick them out from a large group of people and track their movements. Well fast-forward to 2001 and the FBI performs their first major test during the SuperBowl which captured surveillance images and compared them to a database of digital mugshots.

16 years later and here we are. Facial recognition technology is not only a reality but it’s been integrated into the day to day security of a lot of business and remains cost effective so businesses of all sizes can utilise the added security benefits.

What is Facial Recognition?

Facial recognition is a biometric method of identifying a subject using still data and live data capture. This typically means cross referencing a live individual captured through a security camera and matching it up again still images in a database, analysing around 80 different key features whilst an algorithm matches up how close a match is.

Although in its relative infancy, software for CCTV has now become clever enough to use algorithms to recognise “landmarks” or “nodal points” (of which there are around 80) from a person’s face. Some of the factors it can detect are;

  • Distance between the eyes
  • Depth of the eye sockets
  • The shape of the cheekbones
  • The width of the nose
  • The length of the jaw line

Facial recognition systems and cameras take still images when a subject enters a defined area but it does so in a discreet way so not to alert them. The facial recognition software then detects the subjects face in images, quantifying core features of the face and matching them against data already captured and stored within a database. When a close match is made and the algorithm is happy, the technology associates the live subject with all the data stored to the one matched. This could be name, address, previous visits, working schedule etc depending on the data which is stored for that person.

How Facial Recognition Works in Business

Imagine for one minute you own a high end fashion boutique or are the regional manager of a bookmakers. Shoplifters and security risks can be known to businesses but faces are known by the individuals who work on the shop floor and if they’re are no longer with the business, how do they know if a potential customer hasn’t secretly walked off with £1000’s of a clothing or prospective punter isn’t actually a prospect, instead a violence risk to staff on a bad gamble?

Facial Recognition can identify the subject when they enter a specific area and automatically alert staff or management of their arrival. This could be for protective reasons, to remove any possible threat or in extreme cases, alerting the authorities to their presence. Most importantly for businesses, it offers that extra veil of protection and security needed to maintain a safer working environment whilst protecting your own assets/brand.


Do you have anything to add?

If you would like to discuss further how facial recognition systems help protect a business or any other security software, please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch to learn more. We’ve worked with plenty of clients who have had this technology installed and would be happy to go over any questions you may have.

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