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Applications of Face Recognition and Novel Trends

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Definition: A number of contemporary civilian and law enforcement applications require reliable recognition of human faces.

Nowadays, machine recognition of human faces is used in a variety of civilian and law enforcement applications that require reliable recognition of humans. Identity verification for physical access control in buildings or security areas is one of the most common face recognition applications. At the access point, an image of someone’s face is captured by a camera and is matched against pre-stored images of the same person. Only if there is a match, access is permitted, e.g. the door opens. For high security areas, a combination with card terminals is possible, so that a double check is performed. Such face recognition systems are installed for example in airports to facilitate the crew and airport staff to pass through different control levels without having to show an ID or passport.

To allow secure transactions through the Internet, face verification may be used instead of electronic means like passwords or PIN numbers, which can be easily stolen or forgotten. Such applications include secure transactions in e- & m-commerce and banking, computer network access, and personalized applications like e-health and e-learning. Face identification has also been used in forensic applications for criminal identification (mug-shot matching) and surveillance of public places to detect the presence of criminals or terrorists (for example in airports or in border control). It is also used for government applications like national ID, driver’s license, passport and border control, immigration, etc.

Face recognition is also a crucial component of ubiquitous and pervasive computing, which aims at incorporating intelligence in our living environment and allowing humans to interact with machines in a natural way, just like people interact with each other. For example, a smart home should be able to recognize the owners, their family, friends and guests, remember their preferences (from favorite food and TV program to room temperature), understand what they are saying, where are they looking at, what each gesture, movement or expression means, and according to all these cues to be able to facilitate every-day life. The fact that face recognition is an essential tool for interpreting human actions, human emotions, facial expressions, human behavior and intentions, and is also an extremely natural and non-intrusive technique, makes it an excellent choice for ambient intelligence applications.

During the last decade wearable devices were developed to help users in their daily activities. Face recognition is an integral part of wearable systems like memory aids or context-aware systems. A real-world application example is the use of mini cameras and face recognition software, which are embedded into an Alzheimer’s patient’s glasses, to help her remember the person she is looking at .

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over 6 years ago

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