Face recognition technology is the latest authentication technology to be adopted for keyless, frictionless access control & door entry.
From unlocking your smartphone or authenticating contactless payments, to speeding-up the identification process at airport border controls, to the most recent, burgeoning application of hands-free face recognition for door entry and access control; facial recognition is one of the fastest growing biometric security technologies.
It's clear that secure, hands-free technology such as this is a vital part of future-proofing new buildings to help combat the spread of viruses and infection; whether it be prevention of COVID-19 or regular seasonal bugs, colds or flu.
To register, each individual to be added to the access system (eg. residents in an MDU/apartment building or multi-tenant office workers) requires an initial face scan or photograph of their face. The access control system uses AI algorithms to convert the image of the face into what is effectively a series of 'co-ordinates' - accurately pinpointing the distances between eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc - to create a unique identifying string of numbers which is stored in the system's database.
In doing so, the access control system does not actually store an image/photograph of the individual's face - therefore complying with the personal data storage privacy rules of GDPR.
A face recognition-based system will use access control end-points featuring integrated, high resolution cameras which will provide a live face scan of the individual at the door or gate.
To authenticate each individual's identity and, therefore, allow access, the system will accurately match the unique face 'co-ordinates' to those stored on the database.
The latest AI face recognition access control systems - such as the Akuvox range - also incorporate anti-spoofing 'liveness' detection, using an additional built-in camera to detect 3-dimensional facial awareness and movement.
Facial recognition is one of a number of touch-free authentication methods being adopted for both access control and door intercom systems, as part of contactless pathway parameters in latest-generation building design.
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a huge growth in the requirement and application of touch-free technologies and products in workplace and multi-tenant environments to reduce the frequency of contact between individuals, thereby helping to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Therefore, authentication methods which allow users to identify themselves without physically touching devices (technologies such as RFID, NFC, Bluetooth - and now face recognition, of course) are becoming the preferred options for door intercom and access control systems.
The accuracy and security of face recognition access controls systems is highly dependent upon the number of facial features which the system can identify/measure. Therefore, it is recommended that a system which requires users to briefly remove their mask at the point of authentication provides a more secure option.
With the wearing of face masks currently mandatory in many buildings, a number of systems are now being developed to include 'mask detection'. Rather than altering the algorithm to measure fewer facial features (less secure), mask detection will advise the user that their identity cannot be detected; 'Please remove your mask for authentication'.
A number of manufacturers are, however, currently developing their technology and algorithms to improve accuracy for users wearing masks.
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