Facial Recognition is the Future

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After a long wait, finally on November 3, 2017, Apple released the new iPhone X. The new product denotes the 10th year of the iPhone. It comes with new, groundbreaking technology, including the lack of a home button facial recognition software. While facial recognition technology has been around for quite a while now, it was rarely implemented in mobile phones.

Facial recognition technology has expedited the process of payment in China. Now, with a quick scan of your face, the camera and sensor will pinpoint the dots on your face and quickly process them, approving your payment in a very brief moment. In the world we are in today, this makes the whole process of paying a lot easier, and more importantly faster. Before the introduction of this technology, this process could take upwards of five minutes.

With the usage of this technology, there comes benefits and detriments. Some of the issues has already been made clear to us while others are still being discovered.

Let’s start with the reputable aspects of this new technology. To begin, facial recognition could easily replace the other versions of personal or governmental versions of security such as fingerprint sensor or voice recognition. The system will scan the face for the dots, so while some parts of the face will change overtime, such as skin tone and facial hair, as long as most parts of the face match the original sample, access will be allowed.

When scanning, the system also rewrites the samples it has, changing its data as the person’s facial appearance changes. This system has been applied by private properties and governments for safety reasons, used by hotel companies to better greet guests that have special contributions and of course, banks and stores for easier and faster payment. The incredibly accurate facial recognition technology, however, is not without limitations.

As many governments and companies used this system to have better management over the citizens and workers, they have discovered a few troubles on the way. One case of system instability was during the release of the Apple iPhone X. Craig Federighi, the keynote presenter had trouble unlocking the phone with facial recognition. Another issue is that the normal camera used on the streets does not have image quality high enough to support the full capabilities of facial recognition. Research shows that with better cameras that can support 1080p, the system accuracy could increase from 70% to 98%. Upgrading to higher-quality cameras would be extremely costly, however.

If hacked, the facial information of a person can be taken, and privacy, identity, and personal belongings can be taken. In the wrong hands, this system could also cause serious harm. Facial recognition requires no personal contact with the system and the person does not have to actively engage with the system. Unbeknownst to the phone owner, therefore, someone’s phone could be hacked.

Now, in the world of 2017, this type of technology has not been fully utilized yet. A few smartphones, some stores,  and banks and governments offer this convenient new technology. However, facial recognition is still in the middle of development, and faults are still being dealt with. In the near future, facial recognition should be out of the developmental phase and the become a staple of our modern world. There really is a huge potential for this system, and it’s only a matter of time for it to be used commonly in this world.

Featured Image: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2148491/physical-security/why-facial-recognition-isnt-the-way-of-the-future-yet.html

About the author

Jack Cai is a III Former at St. Mark’s School from Shanghai, China. He is a passionate golf player and guitar player. He is a photographer as well as a student in behavioral psychology, social psychology and philosophy.

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