When it comes to technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers business owners more tools to make things run smoother, faster, and more securely.
One example of AI is facial recognition technology (FRT), but not everyone is clear about how it can help their company.
As with any new technology, what works for some, may not work for others. Business owners should decide if facial recognition is the right choice for their company.
What Is Facial Recognition?
Every person’s face is different, just like their fingerprints and retinas. It is an AI technology that uses specific algorithms to identify someone by their unique “faceprint”.
How Does It Work?
Facial recognition technology works by scanning and measuring specific parts of a person’s face.
Even for people who look similar, there are subtle differences that we may not detect in-person. This technology can identify these subtleties.
The technology scans a person’s face to determine things like:
- Depth of eye sockets
- Jaw length
- Nose width
- Distance between forehead and chin
These are things that do not change as we age (or if we get a hair cut or grow a beard).
This technology has evolved to become more accurate than it has ever been. It can measure as many as 80 distinguishable differences of the face.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology reports that between 2014 and 2018, “facial recognition software got 20 times better at searching a database to find a matching photograph.”
How Does Facial Recognition Benefit Companies?
The technology behind facial recognition has changed and is far beyond where it used to be. With today’s technology, there are many ways it can benefit companies that use it.
One of the most obvious benefits is enhanced security. Companies have been using two-factor authentication (2FA) – such as security questions – to improve security for a while now. This process has evolved to include biometric authentication like facial recognition.
Facial recognition technology scans an employee’s face and the information is converted to a mathematical formula. From there, it is compared to a database that verifies that the face matches the name, all within seconds.
Technology like this is a powerful way to keep your company’s data safe from phishing and other types of cyberattacks, too.
If your company issues devices to employees for work, it can protect these devices from theft or unauthorized use.
Facial recognition does not need things like special keys or magnetic cards for verification so there are no external things that can get lost, stolen, or manipulated.
Additionally, facial recognition can be used with other supporting apps to make things like scheduling and payroll more streamlined and accurate.
3. Employee Productivity
Today’s employees are distracted. The World Economic Forum reports that 36 percent of millennial and Gen X employees surveyed spend “two hours or more checking their smartphones for personal activities during the workday.” Further, logging onto social media costs the U.S. economy roughly $4500 per worker each year.
Using facial recognition holds employees accountable when they are working, which reduces the risk of these distractions.
For example, if an employee uses facial recognition to clock in, they know they will be responsible for completing a specific job within a specific amount of time and will be more likely to perform better.
Alternatively, managers and supervisors may not be aware of ineffective tools or apps that make a job or task take longer than it should.
When they can monitor an employee’s performance, it can help supervisors identify outdated practices, equipment, or procedures so they can make necessary improvements.
It will also cut down on things like unauthorized breaks or lunch breaks that run too long. Facial recognition allows supervisors to ensure employees are where they are supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
For example, field workers are less likely to perform side jobs when their time is being recorded through facial recognition.
With this kind of technology, managers can also take business trips or vacations without the need to hover or track workers in person.
Most companies have different levels of clearance for different departments. Facial recognition allows for employees’ privacy to be protected.
For example, a manager can access the schedule and time records of their employees as well as accounting and HR records.
However, employees’ access can be limited to specific information that relates only to their job, protecting the privacy of everyone else.
With traditional time-tracking techniques, there is plenty of room for error. Employees may forget to clock in or out or deliberately falsify their hours.
Some employees use “buddy punching” to commit time theft, which costs businesses millions of dollars each year.
Facial recognition removes the risks of these inaccuracies and human error.
6. Improved Customer Experience
Oracle’s Hotel 2025 industry report reveals that 72 percent of hotel operators said facial recognition that provides targeted dining recommendations will be “mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025.”
Further, technology can significantly improve marketing efforts with “targeted advertising.” This emerging type of marketing ensures the right advertisements reach the right people.
Facial recognition has many applications and as it evolves, its uses will likely increase.
The U.S. government has used it for years and, according to statistics, it will be in use at the top 20 U.S. airports for 100 percent of international passengers.
While there are still concerns about some aspects of facial recognition, there is no denying that technology like AI, AR, and VR are changing the ways the world conducts business.
Organizations are finding ways to use it and consumers are discovering the ways they like to see it used.
Although facial recognition is in its infancy, the speed of technological evolution means it’s sure to become mainstream for most successful organizations in the future.
Today’s business owners will need to embrace these technologies not only for improved customer experience, but for accuracy, security, and productivity within their organizations.