By: Jesse Davis West March 05, 2019

Facial recognition has the potential to end organized retail crime, protect public spaces and transform every customer into a VIP. But not all facial recognition systems are the same. When it comes to a successful facial recognition deployment, one of the most important factors is speed. After all, a few seconds can make the difference between recognizing a threat in time to prevent a potential serious crime. It’s likewise important to recognize customers, anticipate their needs and personalize their experience from the moment they enter a store.

How Face Recognition Works

Facial recognition surveillance systems work by matching live images of individuals (often captured by video cameras) against a database of documented individuals who have opted into a customer loyalty program or who pose a known threat to public safety. However, to provide real-time alerting, the face recognition system needs to have an algorithm that allows for instantaneous matching against often massive databases of registered threats.  

The Need for Speed

While we can’t speak for all face recognition vendors, at FaceFirst, one of our primary goals is optimizing the speed of our matching algorithm and ensuring that we can provide instant feedback no matter how large our clients’ databases are.   

While our facial recognition has always been fast, we’re constantly retooling our algorithm for speed optimization. And thanks to many long hours from our Engineering team and the processing power afforded by nVidia GPUs, we’ve recently made some massive gains in terms of speed. Our algorithm can now query vast databases a rate of 75 million images in just one-tenth of a second. As a result, our customers can now receive alerts in real time. We’ve also recently added alerting options so that customers can now receive alerts by SMS, by email and within the FaceFirst app itself via in-app notifications for Android and iOS.   

Here are a few situations where face recognition speed can make a big difference:

Ensure Public Safety

Imagine that facial recognition is being used for security at a concert arena, and a documented suspected terrorist enters the event. A few seconds can spell the difference between life and death. It’s essential to ensure that security professionals are alerted to threats in real time.

Instantly Identify Documented Retail Criminals  

In retail security deployments, it’s essential to be able to quickly discover documented shoplifters, organized retail criminals and fraudsters. By recognizing them before they commit a crime, it makes it possible for loss prevention personnel to offer them customer service or even call them by name, which has been shown to deter retail criminals from committing a crime. This is important, because waiting until a crime is in progress puts customers and employees at greater risk of violence.  

Provide Better Customer Experiences

Casinos, event venues and retail stores can use face recognition to instantly identify VIPs. By knowing when VIPs are on premises, personnel can offer promotions that boost loyalty and engagement. But in crowded environments, it’s important to get alerts right away in order to ensure that VIPs have a fantastic customer experience throughout their entire visit.  

If you’d like to see a demo of our fastest facial recognition system yet, contact us today.