Big Brother Alert: China Co. Taking Face Recognition Mainstream
Workers at Beijing Sunrise Technology don’t need an I.D. card to enter their offices. The company uses a compact 3D facial recognition system, unique because it is not linked to a server or computer.
Sales Manager, Lu Shaohua says the system has improved attendance and security for the company:
“The more advanced software saves a lot trouble for the Human Resources Department in checking on work attendance. As for security, we have warehouses, and serving as the entrance guard, it also increases the efficiency of our security.”
Face I.D. manufacturer Hanvon developed the stand-alone system to run on a single chip, allowing it to be easily installed in offices.
And because of its compact size, says Hanvon’s chief engineer, Shi Jian, Hanvon Face I.D. has a competitive edge.
“Because it’s the world’s first facial recognition product completely separated from a computer, it’s smaller in size and runs a simpler operating system. So the cost of the whole system is much lower. All this has laid a foundation for its wide scale production and application.”
Cameras use infrared detectors to capture a 3D pattern of a person’s cranial physiognomy, which is then matched with information stored in a database. The Face I.D. is able to scan and identify a face in less than a second under any light conditions, even in the dark, says Shi.
He claims it can distinguish between identical twins, can tell whether a face is alive or dead and won’t be fooled by masks. Shi says improved accuracy has helped pave the way to commercial success.
“In the past, the recognition rate of the system was only 90 percent. In a strict sense, the system had no commercial value. But now we have managed to raise our facial recognition rate by nearly ten percent, allowing us to realize the large-scale commercial use of our product.”
A Hanvon Face I.D. device catering for 1,400 users costs less than a thousand dollars, with the price rising for larger systems. Face I.D. is sold to 55 countries, including the United States – science fiction that could soon be science fact in an office near you.
Bottom line: The everyday use of facial recognition systems was once the stuff of science fiction, but a leading Chinese company is making the technology small and affordable enough for widespread application.
“Hanvon Face ID”, the world’s first standalone 3D facial recognition device, is already in use both in China and abroad and its manufacturers are looking to expand.