Security Technology Executive

FEB-MAR 2018

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www. • Februar y/March 2018 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 43 use in large open spaces like airports, arenas and shopping malls. Awareness of biometrics and facial recognition skyrocketed thanks to press coverage and soaring stock prices. In less than a year, inflated prices for at least two facial recognition vendors catapulted them into national prominence, but as their technology failed to meet expec- tations, their profits and customers quickly disappeared. The push toward multi-authenti- cation solutions in accessing physical portals and cyber networks alike have forced biometric vendors to meet the challenge of enhanced identification requirements across almost all verticals. And it has taken shape not only in the commercial/industrial markets but has also been increasingly expanding in the consumer space. This year consumers can expect to see facial recognition coming to a smart- phone near you. Both facial recogni- tion technology and 3D face-mapping can be found in Apple, Samsung and Google devices. With personal devices becoming mobile platforms for facial recognition technology, experts are say- ing this biometric tsunami is only in its infancy. As ad agencies, manufacturers and telecom providers look towards the future, the stuff of science fiction is close to becoming reality as applications like facial tracking billboards to face unlock- ing vending machines arrive. For Peter Trepp, the CEO of FaceFirst, a facial recognition company in Southern California, the future is now for both the consumer and security customer. "Keep in mind that Facebook, Google, Apple and Samsung are largely consum- er-facing companies. Their strategies around facial recognition (some planned and some not) are most likely focused on creating new experiences for their users within the context of their products and partners. While we can imagine a range of roles these companies will play in the future of facial recognition, I believe the industry, in general, will soon see every- day items disappear including ATM/cred- it cards, car keys, house keys, and pass- words," contends Trepp. "Perhaps even more interesting is that AI, coupled with technologies like facial recognition, will help to create a very personalized expe- rience for consumers that will change decades-old experiences and open com- pletely new markets. It's clear to me that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry in a nascent stage." Trepp says that it is like compar- ing apples to oranges when discussing the facial recognition technology that launched in the months following the 9/11 attacks. Recent technical advances in chip technology plus the emergence of advanced artificial intelligence mute any comparisons to decades-old solutions. "Facial recognition achieved several major milestones in just the last five years and significant progress since 9/11. Advances in machine learning , neural networks, and AI have contribut- ed to improving the video analytics and matching accuracy to a point where the promise of facial recognition has finally become viable," Trepp says. "Further- more, the introduction of GPU proces- sors and lower overall system costs have made platforms available for nearly all commercial applications. Today, prospec- tive customers want to see facial recogni- tion in action before they buy. Because we can showcase a fully functional, scal- able, accurate and secure platform, our business is growing very fast today." Trepp adds that as it relates to security, every game-changing advancement in technology will encounter new security challenges; "One big known concern lies in the potential to have one's face cre- dentials stolen. FaceFirst has developed a series of solutions that mitigates and/ or eliminates this issue in a unique way and will be a key differentiator for us. Nevertheless, software providers have to be vigilant about security at all times." A recent survey of over 1,000 Ameri- can conducted by his company finds that a majority of people (64 percent) think facial recognition should be used to help identify terrorists and as a crime deter- rent. Another 73 percent said they would feel less safe if cameras were removed from airports and another 89 percent think a terrorist or mass shooter attack could occur in the next year at a concert, sporting event or airport. With regards to facial recognition tech - nology and the general public's view of it being employed in a public safety setting, the survey had a positive slant. Image Courtesy of

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