TechDogs-All You Need To Know About "Facial Recognition Technology"


All You Need To Know About Facial Recognition Technology

By TechDogs

Overall Rating


From tagging suggestions while posting group photos on Facebook to using Apple's Face ID to unlock your iPhone - Facial Recognition Technology has become more commonplace and popular than Starbucks! While most of us use this tech in some form or the other, not many would know much about its history, its use, or its potential. That's okay - this is what we, TechDogs, are here for.

Dive into our quick and simplified read on Facial Recognition Technology to not only understand it thoroughly but also flaunt your knowledge about it. We have covered everything from its inception to its applications and benefits in this article.
Techdogs -"All You Need To Know About Facial Recognition Technology"

Facial Recognition Technology-not hearing it for the first time, right? You'd probably have stumbled upon this term in a movie or in a book or some news. Ever wondered where it was first used? No? It was not at NASA but you're close. Before making its way into the real world, Facial Recognition was used to enter the archives area in the 1966 Star Trek: The Original Series. (Yes, they thought of it before it was cool!)

Fast-forward to today and Facial Recognition Technology has become a household name, even more than the super cute Baby Yoda! All said and done, while we've all had a brush with Facial Recognition Technology, do you really know what it is? Join us as we cut to the chase and tell you what the heck Facial Recognition Technology is all about.

What Is Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial Recognition Technology essentially matches a human face from a digital image or screengrab from a video against a database of faces by pinpointing facial features, measuring them and then comparing them. In simpler words, it takes the captured image and matches it with a pre-recorded image to confirm the identity of the individual.
What started off as a rare technology is now a feature that can be found in almost every device you can imagine. Smartphones, security cameras, digital locks cameras and whatnot. However, this technology was not the same at the very beginning and has undergone several iterations of evolution and development. Here’s how it all began.

History And Evolution Of Facial Recognition Technology

Let's not be hasty and assume that Facial Recognition is here because of Star Trek. The truth is, that Star Trek only played on an idea that was already growing in the backyard of Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Bledsoe. Often known as the father of Facial Recognition, Woody developed a cool RAND tablet in 1964 wherein people could manually measure coordinates of faces (exactly how a tailor takes your measurements), record them in the tablet as a database, against which new images were matched-exactly how a garment-maker takes your measurements. Only in this case, the measurements were of your face and were taken using a photograph of yours.

A little later, Goldstein, Harmon and Lesk joined the parade and further enhanced Woody's process by identifying the exact 21 markers that were to be measured on the face. However, like the garment-maker, the technologist was still required to manually take the measurements.

TechDogs-Evolution Of "Facial Recognition Technology"-"Woody’s process" Identifying The Exact Markers Used To Measure On The Face

It was only in the 1990s that technology was developed to replace manual methods; thanks to Turk and Pentland. Popularly called the Eigenface approach, images were now analyzed and converted into a low-dimensional version with basic features, that was then used to match with new images. This led to the earliest instances of automatic Facial Recognition as we know it today.

As good wine gets better with age, Facial Recognition Technology too improved with time. Let's learn how well it works today.

How Does Facial Recognition Technology Work?

New technology can be daunting, don't worry, we believe we have done a pretty good job at explaining it. First things first, Facial Recognition Technology follows four standard steps to make a match between your latest picture and one from a database.

First, a picture of your face is captured on camera, could be a CCTV (Closed-circuit Television) or the selfie camera of your mobile phone. More often than not, it is taken as a front or nearly front profile to ensure an accurate match. Secondly, Facial Recognition software reads your facial image and records certain predefined markers on it. By the way, the initial count of 21 markers has now gone up to 68. So, these 68 key features or points on your face are recorded and together they make your facial signature (it's as unique as your fingerprint!).

Now, if you're thinking that your facial signature is an image, you're mistaken. In fact, based on the 68 coordinates recorded on your face, the software develops a unique mathematical formula-that's your facial signature. As the third step, this facial signature is compared with a database of known faces could be the National Criminal Database or even employee access database. At last, a determinate is made to an image that has the same signature or the closest signature to the one recorded.
TechDogs-Work Of "Facial Recognition Technology"-Process Of Facial Recognition Technology

While these basic steps remain consistent, the techniques for Facial Recognition may vary. Let’s learn about them

Various Techniques Employed By Facial Recognition Technology

So far, there are four common techniques:

  • Traditional

    The process explained above is the traditional facial signature method.

  • Human Identification at a Distance (HID)

    Low-resolution images are first turned into high-resolution representations and then the facial signature is built on them.

  • 3-Dimensional Recognition

    Facial signature is built by capturing 3D coordinates of the face.

  • Thermal Cameras

    Uses special cameras that capture features sans all accessories (like glasses and makeup).

Sounds like too much of a hassle, right? Why would any business or organization really invest in such a technology?

Benefits of Facial Recognition Technology

Some of you may be thinking, aren't biometric data systems enough to precisely identify an individual? Why do we need Facial Recognition Tech anyway? Well, here's why -

One of the significant advantages of Facial Recognition is that it offers an automatic and seamless verification experience on personal information. You don't need to swipe a card or place your thumb on a biometric pad. It is as simple as clicking a selfie.

Another added benefit is that it integrates flawlessly with most devices as there's no specific hardware requirement- a webcam is all you need and there's hardly a smartphone or laptop out there without one. This also means Facial Recognition costs less than biometric set-ups.

Furthermore, biometric security has limitations- if your finger is wet or you're wearing gloves, biometric technology will fail to identify you. An individual needs to physically connect with their devices to unlock them through fingerprint tech. Facial Recognition system, on the other hand, has a reasonable detection rate even if the individual is standing at a distance. Hence, it finds diverse applications in recognizing individuals in a crowd.

Well, let's see what these applications are.

Applications Of Facial Recognition Technology

TechDogs-Applications Of "Facial Recognition Technology"-Face Recognition Background
So far we've talked about several common applications of Face Recognition technology like the Apple FaceID and security software. However, here are few large-scale yet lesser-known applications of Facial Recognition.
  • Security and ID verification

    at organizations, law enforcement agency and high-security events like the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. (yes, we all know this one!)

  • Immigration checkpoints

    surveillance at airports with live facial recognition to identify known criminals and persons of interest who are trying to cross borders illegally.

  • Casinos

    regularly use it as surveillance technology to identify cheaters and card-counters who are a cause for trouble.

  • Ride-sharing companies

    use it to ensure that the drivers are not sleepy and are in a condition to drive.

  • Facial Recognition systems has replaced peepholes

    at homes to only grant access to known person for better security and privacy concern.

  • Law-enforcement and federal agency

    to identify criminals using their records in the national database for criminal investigation. (You're more likely to capture footage from a street camera than get a criminal's fingerprint, right?)

  • Diseases are diagnosed faster

    with Facial Recognition data as the technology records detectable changes in appearances and maps them to their possible causes.

Is that all? Not really. Taylor Swift once used this tech at her concert to identify known stalkers. We're not kidding, this may soon become the norm. Take notes, celebs! For the rest, here's what we can expect in the future.

The Future Of Facial Recognition

We can expect Facial Recognition to expand into more markets and industries in the future. For example, schools and workplaces could use the technology to take automated attendance. Additionally, we're seeing the development of emotion recognition features also on social media using Facial Recognition algorithm. In fact, Listerine has developed an app that tells blind people when someone around them is smiling using vibrations, helping them better understand their social surroundings.

We can also expect more accurate recognition, even with a low resolution and non-frontal profile image, thanks to Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning (these are fancy technologies that help automate processes and make intelligent tools). Needless to say, this tech is full of surprises and will largely influence the security landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Facial Recognition Technology and how does it work?

Facial Recognition Technology is a system that matches a human face from a digital image or video screengrab against a database of faces by analyzing and measuring facial features. It works by capturing an image of a person's face, recording specific facial markers, and converting them into a unique mathematical formula known as a facial signature. This signature is then compared with a database of known faces to determine a match or the closest match.

What are the benefits of Facial Recognition Technology over other identification methods?

Facial Recognition offers automatic and seamless verification without the need for physical contact, such as swiping cards or using biometric pads. It integrates well with existing devices, requiring only a webcam for operation, which reduces costs compared to other biometric setups. Additionally, Facial Recognition has a reasonable detection rate even from a distance, making it suitable for various applications, including crowd recognition.

What are some common applications of Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial Recognition Technology finds applications in various fields, including security and ID verification at organizations and high-security events, immigration checkpoints for border surveillance, casinos for detecting cheaters, and ride-sharing companies to monitor driver alertness. It's also used in home security systems, law enforcement for criminal investigation, and even in medical fields for diagnosing diseases based on facial changes. As technology advances, we can expect its use to expand further into industries such as education and social media, with features like automated attendance and emotion recognition.

Liked what you read? That’s only the tip of the tech iceberg!

Explore our vast collection of tech articles including introductory guides, product reviews, trends and more, stay up to date with the latest news, relish thought-provoking interviews and the hottest AI blogs, and tickle your funny bone with hilarious tech memes!

Plus, get access to branded insights from industry-leading global brands through informative white papers, engaging case studies, in-depth reports, enlightening videos and exciting events and webinars.

Dive into TechDogs' treasure trove today and Know Your World of technology like never before!

Disclaimer - Reference to any specific product, software or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by TechDogs nor should any data or content published be relied upon. The views expressed by TechDogs’ members and guests are their own and their appearance on our site does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by TechDogs’ Authors are those of the Authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of TechDogs or any of its officials. All information / content found on TechDogs’ site may not necessarily be reviewed by individuals with the expertise to validate its completeness, accuracy and reliability.


Face Recognition TechnologyFacial Recognition Technology Facial Recognition History And Evolution Of Facial Recognition Technology Benefits Of Facial Recognition Technology Facial Recognition Technology Definition Future Of Facial Recognition Technology Human Identification At A Distance (HID) Face Identification Facial Verification Facial Detection And Recognition

Join The Discussion

  • Dark
  • Light