Face recognizing robots and artificial intelligence are perhaps the two most popular inventions that tech nerds used to dream about. However, over the years home automation has increasingly become part of our lives and hardware manufacturers realized that integrating facial recognition into IP cameras and surveillance systems would be a remunerative decision.
Biometric scanning is more reliable and produces fewer false alarms than motion sensors. They can also differentiate friends from strangers, adding an extra layer of information to any security notifications. But on the downside, facial recognition is distrusted by many, not to mention the privacy concerns it raises.
How Facial Recognition Works
This technology analyzes its target’s most unique physical feature: the face. The scanning measures several factors, such as the space between the eyes, the shape of the nose, the width of the chin and the like. It also takes notes of individual marks, such as scars or freckles. Once the biometric data has been stored, the system ports them to a special template for later use. These templates serve as the basis for comparing two faces or to run custom searches for matches on the person’s face – just like in the movies.
The reason why facial recognition technology is gaining a foothold above other methods – such as fingerprint detection or eye scanning – is because it’s the least intrusive. Face scanning is completely hand-free and useable for people who live with disabilities. On the other hand, the profiling is so easy, fast and invisible that it could happen without the person actually knowing about it, which raises serious privacy concerns.
Recommended Home Security Cameras With Facial Recognition
Although security cameras with facial recognition technology are still not the norm – or at least not that popular at the moment as night vision or activity monitoring – there are still a handful of noteworthy products that fit the bill.
Welcome delivers true 1080p HD footage and has 130 degree field of view. The camera is fitted with night vision technology and an 8x digital zoom. And since the device is capable of connecting to the Wi-Fi, the live stream can be accessed from the company’s smartphone app.
There are two features that make this camera special. First, it detects when other alarms go off. Second, it includes facial recognition, remembering friendly faces and sending you a notification whenever the camera detects them – such as when the kids arrive home. It’s also important to note that all biometric templates are stored locally, which is important for security purposes.
Ooma’s Butterfleye Security Camera
Butterfleye is governed by a learning AI that was programmed to map any new faces it encounters. It automatically prompts homeowners to pair the freshly discovered face with a profile, so the visitor can be properly identified next time. These profiles can also largely help any investigations by police officers.
In addition to facial recognition, Butterfleye seamlessly records in full 1080 HD and is capable of onboard image processing. The device is wireless and remains operational for a lengthy amount of time thanks to the advanced battery technology it includes.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Supersight in itself is a great help in monitoring your home all by yourself, but the facial recognition software can be further utilized by subscribing to the Nest Aware service. By doing so, homeowners are able save the biometric data of every guest and family member, further personalizing the notification messages.
In order to keep up with the strain that facial recognition puts on the hardware, Nest Cam IQ has a six-core processor and 16GB internal memory to comfortably store the footage.
Privacy Concerns and Issues
But not everything is sunshine and rainbows for this new form of biometric scanning. Privacy advocates warn people of the inherent flaws that lie in the technology. For example, is facial recognition refined enough to tell twins apart? What if someone suffers a serious head injury, will they be locked out of their own home? Not to mention that burglars can just as easily hold a pistol to the homeowners head and force them to open the door.
Then there is the issue with the huge piles of biometric data. Where are they stored, and are the system providers able to access it? Can we trust security companies to keep our data secure and not sell our ‘faces’ to third party companies? Just imagine a scenario where hackers manage to crack into the cloud where your biometric data is stored, at which point they could use it to commit fraud in your name – and there’s very little you could do to stop it. You see, people can easily change their password, door lock, or name, but not their face.
Smart Doorbells With Face Recognition
In fact, a doorbell that is capable of notifying you when guests have arrived is undoubtedly a must-have in any modern home, but the list of useful features doesn’t end there. The Wisenet video doorbell offers a customizable database of facial profiles, with which homeowners can scan the faces of friends, family members or returning delivery guys so they’ll be recognized each time after. In this case the camera not only sends a message to notify that a visitor is standing in front of your door, but it also names the person too.