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Facial recognition: what it is and how it’s used

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Convenience or privacy? Nowadays, technology often prompts users to pick. Smart home security can bring this uncomfortable choice home. In the end, smart home devices have to collect and communicate information to provide worth. But the practices and features that ensure that smart home security is seamless (like automatic syncing of devices) are also difficult to use.

The facial recognition feature takes privacy and security concerns associated with smart-home systems to the next level. Security cameras with the option of facial recognition or not, can be compromised, with capabilities and footage that has been maliciously redeployed by hackers. What about cameras that build a database that matches faces with names? Biometric data makes the threat of hacking much more serious and creates a new, generalized issue: the issue of racial discrimination.

Recognition of faces: what is it and how to use it

New technology is frequently expensive but also insecure, as well as controversial. Face recognition is a perfect example of all three. The technology is a huge potential across a vast array of fields -from airports, for crowd control as well as in grocery stores where cameras on the shelves can detect the mood of shoppers. Facial recognition can be applied almost everywhere, it could be used in the security of your house.

Face analysis algorithms permit security cameras to understand your household’s typical faces. This allows for an easier and more efficient system control (the camera can “recognize” your face at the door and disable your alarm) and increases the detail of alerts.

However, the technology of today is still quite clunky. You have to introduce the camera to the faces you want it to recognize, either by adding photos or by letting the camera take their photo. Facial recognition cameras build the database of familiar faces (most are able to remember between 16 and 32). Because faces are three-dimensional and always in motion rather than static like a fingerprint, cameras are required to discover faces by observing them from various angles over time — for a few days or more. You may have encountered this procedure if have set up face ID on your new iPhone.

Analytics are performed in the camera itself This is great for privacy. Faces and names aren’t transferred to a central server for company use which means they’re not vulnerable to massive data breaches or exploitable for business purposes. This also means that obtaining an alert for a repeat offense criminal is still a long way off.

Facial recognition makes the smart home smarter

Security systems that remembers faces can improve efficiency and prevention. Users who are early adopters may be able to move beyond to the “Hey, Alexa” style of system control. Simply showing your face to the camera will allow you to alter the room’s temperature to the desired temperature of 71 degrees and then turn on Spotify.

The facial recognition feature also provides more relevant information to system alerts. Instead of reporting that an anonymous person visited your front door at 2:33pm A facial recognition camera can inform you that it was your grandmother. False alarms start with false alerts. Cameras that are able to distinguish a loved one from an intruder helps cut off false alarms and also helps you determine if it’s worth calling the police.

Only a handful of smart cameras allow facial recognition

Facial recognition is still not a common feature on the security camera for homes. It isn’t the case that all cameras boasting the technology actually come with it. There are some cameras that have facial recognition software that includes Honeywell, Nest, Netatmo, Tend Secure, Wisenet — but more are in the works. Abode, ADT, and LG all teased facial-recognition cameras on display at CES 2020.

Notably, Ring Alarm, the security firm that was acquired from Amazon in the year 2016 and credited with innovation and innovation is yet to include facial recognition into its smart cameras.

For better or worse, Amazon sees just such a future: An Amazon patent suggests pairing Ring doorbells with technology known as Rekognition. This would connect citizen cameras to police databases.

Facial recognition has drawbacks

Ring cameras do not yet come with facial recognition, but the negative publicity the company has received in the past year highlights the technology’s theoretical negatives, including big brother surveillance as well as privacy issues hacking, and profiling based on race. Cameras may have difficulty recognizing those with dark skin. Such a weakness has real negative consequences when camera footage is used to identify criminals.

Technology’s privacy and biased nature -these are two of the reasons why you should not use facial recognition. The quality of the facial recognition software is a different one. Facial recognition software takes time to build its database and is easily deceived. As less advanced the software, the more likely it is that shadows and sunglasses can be used to confuse it.

What should you look for when looking for security cameras for facial recognition?

Facial recognition, while still in its infancy and troubled as it may be, represents a fresh area of artificial intelligence. Being able to identify someone’s appearance is a uniquely human ability.

If you’re interested in adding face recognition technology to the security of your house then shop for the best security system and put security in mind. Make sure you purchase devices for your home with strong security protocols in place. At minimum, that means two-factor authentication and frequent security updates. Simple controls that allow you to shut off audio, video or certain aspects (including face recognition) are essential as well. Try to position your facial recognition device so that it can only record those who are in your home — not every stranger that passes by. Consider putting up a sign near to alert anyone who walks on your property that they are under surveillance.