Tech solutions

Things to know about Facial Recognition in Apps Before Starting a Project

13 Dec 2017
594
10 min

Our faces, just like fingerprints, are unique. You cannot find another person who looks exactly like you or has the same fingerprints. Scientists have learnt to use these unique peculiarities to distinguish people one from another. Since then, we've started using our features to protect our identity and valuable personal information. And the mobile applications learnt to do that as well.

Now, if we already know and are used to having fingerprint identification feature on our phones, the facial recognition technology is only a trend which has not yet reached the peak of its popularity. That is why we offer you to discover the reasons why facial recognition feature is worth implementation, how it can make your app unique and what advantages of face recognition technology this integration can bring to you and your application.

How does facial recognition work?

Please, please don't confuse facial recognition with Apple Face ID from Apple. These are two different notions. FYI, first facial recognition feature was implemented in Android apps, not iOS. Which means you can add this feature to Android or iOS app with equal success but with the help of different tools. Later we will discuss these tools for each platform. Right now, we need to figure out what is facial recognition technology and how it actually works.

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Face recognition is a technology with only one main goal - to recognize people's faces. Using a smartphone camera the program checks multiple features of a person's face. There are more than 80 metrics which the program has to track, memorize and store in its database in order to compare them with a face when it's needed. The facial recognition software measures structure of a person's face, like the distance between eyes, size and position of a mouth, edges of a jaw, width of a nose and many more. All this data creates so-called faceprint which is stored in the memory.

how does facial recognition work

Facial Recognition worflow

The overall process of face recognition takes four stages. At first, the program captures the image of a face. Then, it extracts the needed data from the image. During the third stage, the program compares extracted pattern with the ones stored in the database. And during the final stage, the machine decides whether the pattern matches or not.

The technology is so promising, that it is gaining a lot of supporters day by day. That's why we already have some great examples of its application.

The best facial recognition software

If you really want to create an app for Android or iOS with the facial recognition feature, you will need to see how others handled this task first. That's why we've prepared the best facial recognition apps which can be a great example for you. Let's examine them.

face recognition unlock

Face Recognition examples

FaceLock is free facial recognition software for Android. The main area where face recognition is applied is security. FaceLock was one of the very first apps who used it. The idea of the app is to secure some apps and confidential files with the lock which only you can unlock. With your face, of course. The app has a simple interface which can be easily customized according to a user's needs. There is a free and paid version of extended functionality.

FindFace is an Android face recognition app. It offers a user to upload a photo of a stranger and find his or her in social networks. It seems that the app is only for fun, however, it doesn't mean that it works with mediocre efficiency. The developers of this facial recognition search app used AI technologies which helped them to reach 95% of accuracy and check 250 mln faces in less than half a second. Moreover, the startup released a cross-platform API which can be used as in mobile and in web apps.

LuxandFaceRecognition is an Apple face recognition app. It is used for people identification. All you need to do is to tap on a face and give it a name. The program memorizes it and then can identify people it already knows. The app itself isn't very interesting because it has very poor functionality. However, its developers offer an SDK which can be used in more sophisticated projects.

Face2Gene is a medical face detection app which you won't find in usual app stores. The app developers claim that it can identify various genetic disorders. It works this way, a program compares a photo of a person with multiple images of people with different syndromes and searches for similarities. Thus, it can identify a disease faster than in a lab.

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Facial Metrics Analysis Pro is an Android face recognition example and its main goal is to entertain users. If people often tell you that you look familiar to them, you should try Facial Metrics Analysis Pro. The app analyses your facial metrics and shows a celebrity you most resemble.

These apps are amazing and we decided to show them to make you sure that the face recognition technology is widely used in many successful projects, so why can't you?

Pros and cons of facial recognition feature in app

However, as in any development process rush is not for good. Before you start planning anything, let's discuss the bright and dark sides of the applications of face recognition system. Let's begin with the advantages of the system.

advantages and disadvantages of face recognition technology

Face Recognition pros

No contact

If you create an app for common users it may seem irrelevant. However, if you need to build a software system to identify employees in your company or people in a crowded place, it can become a determining factor. And in this case, contactless technology is much faster. Besides, fingerprint scanners are never clean. And if you have a company of more than 100 employees, imagine what would happen if all workers would pass the diseases from one to another and contaminate the place with the germs all the time! Face recognition is an effective and, what is more important, healthier alternative.

Speed

The technology isn't new which means it works much more efficient and faster than a few years ago. Especially if it is combined with an Artificial Intelligence system. It takes very little time to identify a person if his metrics are in a database.

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Security

And we are talking not only about users' private information security. The technology can and should be used in crowded public areas like stadiums, hospitals, railway stations, shopping malls and so on. The system easily differs staff from visitors who came to a restricted zone without special permission. Such software system can also improve security level in big warehouses with a large staff or any other place with valuable goods.

Automation

It means lots of savings because you hire fewer people. First of all, manual recognition leads to human errors. Second of all, at some workplaces, it is a huge risk for security guards' lives. And finally, the system can work 24 hours 7 days a week tirelessly.

High accuracy

When you hire a human, you have to understand that the error rate is going to be not very low. People are imperfect, they get tired, bored, frustrated and ill. All that influence the attention span of a worker. And, as a result, leads to mistakes. A face identification app can work 24/7, they never get ill or married or have babies. The technologies are improving constantly, cameras become better day by day, which means the accuracy rate will only improve. Besides, frauds can use makeup or accessories to hide themselves and a person could not identify them, while a machine pays attention to the facial structure and it is much more difficult to fool.

Face recognition software has lots of bright sides. Nevertheless, it also has some drawbacks which you need to know about to make a well-considered decision about Face recognition programs application.

what is face recognition

Face Recognition cons

Processing difficulties

24/7 footage requires lots of space to store in and lots of capacity to process. The video you need to film has to be of the highest quality to be able to recognize faces which means it needs large spaces to store it. All these factors increase the total cost of such a project and require large investments.

Hair problems

The problem with facial recognition technology is that the system can't recognize people with and without beards and moustaches. If a person wears them all the time, there will be no problem. But if a person one day decides to shave his beard, the system will not be able to identify him. As an option, an administration can ask all men not to grow facial hair and often shave it. Otherwise, the face recognition software app can make mistakes.

The Angle issues

If a person looks right into a camera, the accuracy level would be about 99.30%. This number is achieved only with the good lightning and right face position. Glaces, bad light, facial hair, hats and makeup worsen the recognition results. The situation can be improved if the database would be constantly updated with the freshest images.

It seems to me that all these difficulties are temporary and all they will disappear soon with the technology development. We believe that there are more advantages than disadvantages and the system is worth trying. If you agree with us, let's move on and see how we can integrate face recognition technology into your face recognition application.

The best tools for Facial recognition feature implementation

As we've already mentioned, some companies released their SDKs along with their mobile applications. However, we are going to compare more popular solutions which offer more functionality and a higher level of accuracy.

applications of face recognition system

The best instruments to implement Facial recognition functionality

Microsoft Azure offers an API which you can integrate into your program. The tool provides such features as face detection, face recognition and even emotion recognition, defines age and gender, can support multi-face tracking. However, the significant disadvantage is that the service can work only with images not with videos. Moreover, the company doesn't offer SDK for developers.

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OpenCV is an open source library for image processing. With the help of this library, you can detect faces, process video and track more than one face. The system offers you an SDK. Nevertheless, it also has some weaknesses. The tool isn't able to recognize faces on images, doesn't define age, gender or ethnicity and there is no API at your convenience.

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Amazon provides you with an API with the help of which you can detect faces, recognize faces on images, define age and gender of a person. There is also no SDK for devs.

Find Face. Find Face is a cloud API which is needed to process images. It also can detect faces, verify it (compare faces on several images), identify a face, define age, gender, and emotions.

Kairos is one of the very few firms which offer SDK and an API. This software solution is able to detect faces, work both with images and videos and define age, gender, ethnicity and emotions.

There are many more tools and instrument which you can try. Some of them offer free trial period so you don't even have to pay at first. These tools are all great you just need to pick one which fits your project's requirements the most. If you need any help with it, we are always here to hear you out, write us and let's solve your problem together!

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